If you’re trying to conceive, you may be wondering if your weight could affect your fertility. The answer is complicated, as being overweight or underweight can affect fertility in both men and women. Below, we take a look at the relationship between weight and fertility and the pros and cons of weight management when trying to conceive (TTC).
The Relationship Between Weight and Fertility For Women
Research has shown that Body Mass Index (BMI) plays a role in the production of sex hormones, particularly in women. Fat cells naturally produce more estrogen in the body, which can make it more difficult for you to ovulate.
Being overweight can also lead to other fertility problems for women, such as anovulation (when the ovaries do not release eggs regularly) and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).
If you are overweight and trying to conceive, it’s important to talk to your doctor about the options available to you. Losing weight before getting pregnant may improve your chances of conception and having a healthy pregnancy. Dietary changes and regular exercise are two lifestyle changes that can help with weight loss.
If you are struggling to lose weight on your own, there are options available that can help. Be sure to consult with your fertility doctor to ensure that the treatment is safe while TTC, or how long you would need to wait before beginning to actively TTC again.
The Effect of Weight on Fertility in Men
While the effect of weight on male fertility is not as well-studied as its effect on female fertility, a high BMI can certainly have an impact on male reproductive health.
According to Harvard, men who are overweight are 11% more likely to produce fewer sperm than men who have a healthy BMI. These men are also at a 39% higher risk of producing no sperm.
Men who are considered obese showed a 42% increase in the risk of low sperm production than their healthy peers and an 81% increase in the likelihood of producing no sperm.
These studies suggest that being overweight may reduce male fertility. It affects hormone levels and sperm quality, similar to how being overweight or obese impacts a woman’s menstrual cycles and the release of eggs.
Should You Lose Weight When Trying To Conceive?
There are many benefits to losing weight before getting pregnant, the most obvious being the improvement of your overall health, including your heart, lungs, and circulatory system.
Losing weight can also help increase your chances of conceiving through IVF. A study published in the Journal of Human Reproductive Science indicated that overweight women respond poorly to the induction of ovulation. They require higher doses of fertility hormones to achieve success. It also showed that the chances of conception after in-vitro fertilization go down as Body Mass Index goes up.
This data makes it clear that weight loss is essential for overweight couples who are TTC. Losing weight prior to pregnancy can also help reduce the risk of complications after pregnancy is achieved.
Cons of Losing Weight Prior to Conception
While there are many benefits to losing weight before getting pregnant, there are also some potential downsides. For example, if you lose a significant amount of weight quickly, it could reduce your hormone levels or disrupt your menstrual cycle. This could make it more difficult to become pregnant.
If you’re considering losing weight, be sure to do so slowly and under the guidance of a doctor or registered dietitian to minimize any potential risks. Losing weight slowly and steadily is the best way to avoid these potential problems.
Schedule An Appointment
Viera Fertility Center is dedicated to helping couples expand their families with the most advanced technology and knowledge available today.
If you are struggling with your weight and fertility, there are many resources available that can help you achieve your goal of conception. At Viera Fertility Center, we are here to support you every step of the way. Our team will work with you to create a treatment plan that is right for you.Contact us today to learn more or to schedule an appointment. Call now by dialing 321.751.4673 (HOPE).