Does Being Overweight Affect My Chances Of Conceiving?



Not only does being overweight affect your general health, it can impact your life in other ways. For women who are pregnant, being overweight can cause a variety of complications. For women and men who are trying to conceive, being overweight can be an obstacle that greatly affects their chances of successfully conceiving.

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, a woman will be at or near her ideal weight three months prior to trying to conceive. Dieting and exercise, of course, can help to address the issue of being overweight. However, dieting and exercising can also sometimes interfere with ovulation, thus a three-month maintenance window tends to be helpful. In addition, it will be important that your body gets all of the nutrients that it needs from the moment of conception forward, and this can be difficult to do if you are currently dieting.

Also 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.


Last modified: February 10, 2013