How does Weight Affect Fertility?
Weight affects fertility in a number of important ways. To understand exactly how weight affects fertility, however, you need to understand from the start that it’s not just being overweight that can affect fertility. Both being underweight or overweight can affect how likely you are to be able to conceive. For maximum fertility, you should try to stay within a recommended weight range.
Being overweight can affect fertility in a variety of ways. For some women, their weight may affect their ovulation. Being overweight can disrupt a woman’s regular monthly cycle, making it difficult for her to ovulate, and making it difficult to know exactly when she is ovulating. The impact of weight on ovulation has to do with the production of estrogen. Research suggests that for women who are overweight, the extra fat tissue can lead to an excess production of estrogen. This excess estrogen can then cause a hormonal imbalance that affects ovulation.
Sometimes, the sheer logistics of sex can get in the way for overweight couples who are trying to conceive. If the sperm are not able to make it all the way to the cervical mucus, whether held back by excess skin or they can’t make it to a deep cervix, there are a variety of problems that being overweight can cause in the physical act of conception. In addition, some studies suggest that being overweight and not getting enough exercise can lead to a low sperm count and/or low sperm viability in men.
Ideally, the woman who is trying to conceive but who is also trying to lose weight will do both of them under the care of both a health care provider as well as a dietary or nutritional expert. In addition, a closely monitored exercise program can help the woman who is trying to conceive to lose the necessary weight. A regular exercise program will not only help you in terms of conception, but will also help to prepare your body for the strains involved in pregnancy and childbirth.