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Is your body weight affecting your fertility
Is your body weight affecting your fertility

Is your body weight affecting your fertility

Posted by
 Dr Batra’s™  July 7, 2020

Have you been giving conception a go lately? Do you find yourself depressed quite often wondering why it’s not happening? Got yourself checked by your gynecologist and every single report is normal and yet you’re not able to conceive.

Well, the reason for infertility could be your weight. Ever thought about it?

How does your body weight affect your fertility? Let me explain.

Weight issues and female infertility:

In women, the menstrual cycle is regulated by a fine hormonal balance. Being overweight increases the level of the hormone leptin produced by the fat tissues, which disrupts the hormonal balance leading to affect fertility in women.

Excessive weight leads to insulin resistance (a resistance to the hormone insulin, resulting in increasing blood sugar), which causes your ovaries to produce too much testosterone. Too much testosterone leads your ovaries to stop releasing eggs.

Extra flab on your body can also reduce the levels of SHBG- Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (a protein that is essential for the regulation of the sex hormones Androgens and Oestrogen). This imbalance in the hormones, in turn, leads to irregular menstrual cycles leading to reduced fertility in women.

According to a study, it has been found that women having anovulatory cycles are at three times higher risk of reduced fertility as compared to women with the regular ovulatory menstrual cycles.

Though overweight women may have a normal ovulatory menstrual cycle, the quality of eggs produced is less thereby reducing the fertility rates.

Being overweight also makes women more prone to disorders like PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome- a common hormonal disorder in women causing enlarged ovaries with small cysts on the outer edges resulting in irregular menstrual cycle), hypothyroidism and diabetes that eventually lead to fertility issues in women and high-risk pregnancies if at all conception happens.

While overweight is a high risk for infertility in women, so is being underweight. Being underweight can lead to anovulation and thereby lead to reduce female fertility. Even if conception occurs, women are more prone to develop complications like miscarriages, preterm labour, or congenital anomalies in the baby.

Besides infertility, underweight can be an underlying sign for disorders like hyperthyroidism, anaemia, eating disorders, stress and anxiety. Therefore, it is really important to maintain a healthy weight. Even after putting all the efforts if you are not able to gain or lose weight, you should consult a doctor for medical advice.

Weight issues and male infertility:

Guess it’s not only women who are affected by weight issues and infertility, but men too.

Obese men are at a greater risk of having hormonal problems, sexual dysfunction, and other obesity-related diseases like type 2 diabetes and sleep apnea. Both the conditions, diabetes and sleep apnea leads to reduced testosterone levels and erectile problems in men.

Obesity not only reduces sperm quality in men but also brings about changes in the physical structure of the sperm cells. It can also cause a reduction in the number of sperms thereby reducing fertility in men.

And now comes the good part:

While facts about obesity and fertility can really be disturbing, the good news is that weight issues if handled the right way can give effective results. It has been observed that a weight reduction by about just 5-10 % increases fertility rates significantly.

A healthy routine and diet along with moderate activity like brisk walking, jogging, skipping or power yoga can help you lose weight the right way. A strong motivation is required to bring about a positive lifestyle change and it has been seen that couples who diet and exercise together get a better outcome.

In cases where weight issues are an outcome of an underlying illness like hypothyroidism, anaemia, PCOS, treatment of the underlying disease brings about a change in the weight and overall well-being of the individual.

Homeopathic medications also aid in weight loss by improving the metabolism of your body, as also in treating the underlying cause of weight-related problems if any, that too without causing any side-effect.

So what are you waiting for? Guess it's time to check your weight! Isn't it?