Skip to main content
Woman with wavy hair

How Much Does Obesity Affect Fertility?

Schedule a Consultation

Did that negative pregnancy test leave you wondering how your weight and obesity affects fertility? You are smart to consider this relationship between conception and obesity and how to manage your weight.

Being obese or overweight is a common problem among women of reproductive age. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) and others, if your body mass index (BMI) is greater than 25, you are considered overweight. If greater than 29 you find yourself in the obese category.

Both men and women can boost their chances of conceiving by taking a deeper look at their weight as well as considering a fertility evaluation that may uncover some clues to why carrying too much can be a factor in repeated pregnancy loss or infertility.

What Should I Weigh to Get Pregnant?

Researchers have found that a woman’s best chance for becoming pregnant start with an ideal body range of 19-25. Not only is important for women but also for men. Those who stay within these ideal numbers for 3 months prior to trying to conceive have a higher chance of conception.

Want to know what your BMI is? Check out on this BMI calculator

Is It Harder to Get Pregnant If I am Overweight?

Overweight women have a higher incidence of menstrual cycle dysfunction as well as problems with ovulation. If you are in this category, you may be one of the many who have a risk of lower chances of fertilization and conception rates, as well as higher incidence of miscarriage and pregnancy complications.

Pregnant woman eating a salad

Fertility Rates and Obesity with Assisted Reproductive Techniques (ART)

woman touching another woman's pregnant belly

Obesity can also take its toll on reproductive health and pregnancy success even with assisted conception. Both with natural and ART techniques such as ovulation induction, in vitro fertilization/intracytoplasmic sperm injection (IVF/ICSI) and egg donation cycles, poor outcomes are the norm. Once your weight and BMI are lowered, your chances improve.

What Causes Obesity and Being Overweight?

  • Diet
  • Lack of Exercise
  • Environmental Factors
  • Genetics
  • Underactive Thyroid
  • Cushing Disease
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
  • Stress
  • Emotional Factors
  • Poor Sleep

People who don’t burn as many calories on a daily basis as they consume can gain weight leading to obesity. This is the top cause for those who are overweight.

Our environment can be a culprit without us even noticing. It may be harder for you to exercise because of both your employment as well as a lack of parks, gyms or safe places to walk. Additionally, some food markets may not offer access to healthy food choices including fruits and vegetables. Unhealthy foods can pack a wallop in terms of calories and before we know it, the weight starts to creep on.

While researchers do believe that genetics plays a role in weight gain, they agree that it needs additional help from excess calories and lack of exercise.

Hormone problems can be the spoiler when it comes to our weight gain. Women with underactive thyroid and PCOS are examples of two that can also lead to infertility issues.

If you are overweight or obese and considering getting pregnant the best thing you can do for yourself is to schedule a fertility evaluation. Discovering what may be the underlying conditions leading to your weight gain is so important in your initial pregnancy planning.

Get Started On A Healthier You! Schedule Your Fertility Evaluation and Nutrition Counseling Session today.

Related Topics