Infertility and Weight Loss
The Effects of Obesity in Women
Obesity is referred to as a BMI or Body Mass Index that is more than 30kg/m2, while overweight means to have a BMI of 25-30 kg/m2. According to the 2002 statistics, obesity has already crossed the expected peak level in the United States after affecting 38% of Hispanic, 31% of white, and 49% of African American women.
In women, obesity has been associated with several medical problems including infertility. It has been the root cause in many to negatively affect ovulation, pregnancy rates, response to fertility treatment, and pregnancy outcome. Infertility in overweight or obese and overweight women is mainly attributed to ovulatory dysfunction that often leads to uneven menstrual cycles. In fact, many experiments have concluded that 30 to 47% of obese women tend to experience irregular menstrual cycles whose likelihood increases directly with the increase in weight.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a critical medical condition, is usually linked to irregular menstrual cycles, obesity, and increased levels of male hormones. It is a hormonal condition that leads to difficult conception. Mayo Clinic has regarded it as the most common reason for infertility, as it results in infrequent ovulation that alleviates the ability to conceive.
Moreover, after the first pregnancy, obese women are at a higher risk of future pregnancy loss. Many research studies have shown that these women are at a two-fold higher risk of miscarriage than women weighing normally. Although it is not transparent as to why this is happening, weight loss is believed to be a vital cause behind miscarriage.
However, the good news is that the latest research conducted in this area has given a new hope to overweight or obese women who wish to conceive. According to this research, weight loss even in small amounts can increase fertility. Weight reduction often results in recommencement of normal menses as well as boosted pregnancy rates.
The Effects of Weight Loss in Women who Wished to Conceive
A study was conducted wherein women having a BMI of almost 40 as well as a wish to conceive, had participated. During this study, these women were asked to take medicines such as metformin for reducing weight so that they could conceive. After 12 weeks, the examiners found that even a 5% drop in weight has led to boosted blood flow to the womb. As a result, the testosterone levels were reduced due to which the ovaries were stimulated to function properly.
So, the first line treatment to overcome infertility due to obesity is losing weight via lifestyle modification. Efforts should be made to limit the total calorie intake daily to 1000 to 1200 and exercise for half an hour three times a week.
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