It is a very widely known fact that chances of getting pregnant increase manifold if you are healthy and follow a healthy lifestyle. Being overweight lowers the chances of getting pregnant because of the fluctuating hormone levels. This affects the ovulation cycle of women and also the quality of eggs. Excess weight is known to interfere with the ovulation cycle, causing irregular periods. Though obese people do get pregnant without the need of any medical intervention, the more the weight increases, the less regular is the menstrual cycle.
Does Obesity Affect Female Fertility?
Can being overweight cause infertility? Well, yes it does. The lifestyle we follow and the choices we make are responsible for us being healthy or otherwise. A healthy pregnancy is the key to a healthy newborn. Being overweight undoubtedly affects the chances of having a healthy pregnancy. Let us look at the effect of obesity on fertility when trying to get pregnant:
1. Hormonal Imbalance
There are a lot of hormones that the body produces to ensure the smooth functioning of all the organs. Excess weight causes an imbalance in the hormone levels which in turn affects the way the body functions. Overweight women tend to have higher levels of Leptin – a hormone produce mainly by the fatty tissues of the body and plays a major role in disrupting the hormone balance of the body.
2. Irregular Periods
Due to the hormonal imbalance, the brain is tricked into believing that the periods are not due anytime soon. This results in an irregular cycle of menstruation. This has a cumulative effect. Apart from the mood swings that the hormones cause, the release of eggs also becomes irregular. This makes it extremely difficult to time your intercourse in order to maximise your chances of pregnancy.
3. Quality of Eggs
The quality of eggs that the body produces is largely dependent on the health of the woman. A healthy body would produce a healthy egg, simultaneously, if you are overweight, the quality of your eggs will get compromised. Obesity is also responsible for anovulation, which means the ovary does not release any eggs in the uterus for a successful pregnancy.
4. Insulin Resistance
Overweight is associated with an increased resistance level of insulin, a phenomenon where more insulin is produced by the body to keep the blood sugar at a normal level. Women with a higher concentration of fat in the abdomen are susceptible to this problem. The rise in the insulin level in the body causes a fall in the hormone binding protein, Globulin, which is responsible for regulating the hormones oestrogen and androgen.
5. Affects Fertility
An irregular period coupled with irregular production of eggs reduces the chances of getting pregnant. Being overweight or obese has a significant impact on your fertility, and it can also increase the chances of your IVF being unsuccessful.
Tips to Get Pregnant If You are Overweight
Overweight and want to get pregnant? We are here to help you. It is not a difficult task to get pregnant even if you are on the higher side of the weighing scale. We offer some tips to help you have a successful pregnancy.
1. Healthy Lifestyle
Avoid alcohol, smoking, and drugs. Eat healthy food. It is time for you to start preparing your own meals so that you know what you are eating and you can control the ingredients used.
2. Pre-conception Checkup
Most of the women who are overweight have been found to have small cysts in the ovary, also known as PCOS, that is caused due to hormonal imbalance in the body resulting from being overweight. Losing weight and taking medications have been successful in reducing PCOS.
3. Time it Right
Excess weight causes irregular ovulation cycles. Use the ovulation kits that are available at the medical stores to correctly time your intercourse and increase your chances of pregnancy.
4. Exercise- Lots of it
Women with a BMI of 30 or more are at a greater risk of developing gestational diabetes or gestational hypertension. Exercise at home or go out to the park more often to increase your chances of being healthy and getting pregnant.
5. Go for Whole Foods
Whole foods keep you satiated for a longer time. They are healthy and bursting with nutrients that enrich your body and immune system. This will help you maintain a healthy weight to support your pregnancy.
Healthy habits go a long way in having a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. Don’t let your weight ruin your dreams of becoming a mother. If you plan your pregnancy well in advance and work on addressing your weight issues, it is just a matter of time before you have a successful pregnancy.