This is the thing, your doctor doesn’t want to tell you to lose weight. Weight is a very personal thing and it isn’t easy when you’re dealing with the heartache of infertility to then also deal with your doctor harping on your about your weight….so honestly, most docs won’t talk about it but in a society that continues to get heavier, it’s time to be honest about your weight.
This is what you should know:
1. Calculate your BMI here so you can understand more about your weight and whether you should consider losing or gaining weight: http://www.nhlbisupport.com/bmi/
2. Obesity and fertility isn’t something we worry about just in women. A recent study showed that obese men are more likely to have lower semen volume and fewer normally shaped sperm than men with normal BMI. Read the study here: http://www.rbmojournal.com/article/S1472-6483(11)00474-3/abstract
3. We see in study after study evaluating the association between BMI and IVF outcomes that women who are underweight have consistently lower pregnancy rates. Read one of the studies here: http://www.rbmojournal.com/article/S1472-6483(11)00351-8/abstract. The reason why underweight women have lower IVF outcomes? One theory, the researchers note, is that in very thin women, low levels of the chemical leptin, a natural regulator of body weight released by fat cells, may affect the discharge of eggs from the ovaries. If you have low fat stores, you’ll have low levels of leptin, which won’t allow for normal communication between brain and pituitary and will cause problems for ovulation. Very thin women may want to cut back on their fitness regimes and try to increase their body weight
4. We also see in studies that women who are overweight have lower pregnancy rates as well: The reason why? The ovaries of overweight women don’t respond as well to hormones as those who are normal weight.
In overweight women, one possibility is that “metabolic derangements” or problems associated with obesity, such as high cholesterol, heart disease and diabetes, affect fertility. So one would think that pregnancy would be an additional demand on them and they would be more prone to failure. Overweight women could experience improvements in their fertility if they can lose 10 to 15 percent of their body weight in some circumstances from dieting and exercise. Maybe it’s just simply too much estrogen. Your fat is directly related to your estradiols, which are a form of estrogen. We hear so many conflicting reports about exercise and fertility. Strenuous exercise has been shown to decrease fertility but in the overweight, the fact is that strenuous exercise may be the path to success.
For folks living in the East Bay check out: www.jumpstartmd.com. My patients have achieved tremendous success through their programs.
Hope this helps!