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Body weight has a huge impact on fertility. Underweight, overweight, and obesity can have an impact on your chances of getting pregnant. Women with a low BMI and those with a high BMI both may suffer from sporadic ovulation and irregular menstrual cycles. Not being able to maintain normal weight may also be linked to thyroid problems, diabetes, or other metabolic disorders.
In order to get pregnant, you need to ovulate or release an egg from the ovary so it can be fertilized by a man’s sperm. Then your body needs to be able to support a developing baby in the womb.
Impact of Weight on Chances of Conception
The ideal BMI for getting pregnant is between 18.5 and 24.9. If you have a high BMI, bring it down to the recommended range if you are trying to get pregnant in the near future.
Overweight and obese women can make it difficult for women to get pregnant. Just like polycystic ovary condition, or PCOS, excessive weight is quite possibly the most well-known reasons behind infertility. This is because fat cells lead to production of extra estrogen resulting in hormonal imbalance. This can fool your body and result in irregular periods. Excessive weight may bring down your odds of getting pregnant.
According to studies women with a higher BMI don't respond as well to fertility treatments like in vitro fertilization. Being overweight is also related to pregnancy-related complications. While the exact reasons are not known, PCOS and insulin resistance may play a role.
High BMI may be associated with several complications such as:
● Blood clots
● Premature birth of baby
● Baby with a high birth weight
● Gestational diabetes
● Long labor time
● Emergency delivery through caesarean section
● Heavy bleeding after birth
Being underweight can also get in the way of getting pregnant. Being underweight can cause your body to stop making estrogen. This can cause irregular menstrual cycles. You may stop ovulating and getting your period. This is especially true if you are losing weight because you are not eating enough or because you are exercising too much, which may be signs of an eating disorder like anorexia nervosa.
Seek a Medical Review
If you find yourself struggling to get pregnant and have issues with your body weight, seek a medical review. If losing or gaining weight or achieving a healthy body weight comes as a challenge when you are trying to conceive, check with your doctor. Their consultation, dietary and lifestyle changes can help make a difference.
For those struggling with low weight and eating disorders, talking to a doctor is essential. Consult a dietician to help gain the required weight.
If you have a high BMI, bringing it down, by a few points, can help to make your pregnancy journey a healthy one. Let’s take a look at some tried and tested lifestyle changes and dietary changes that can help manage weight if you are looking to conceive in the near future: