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Why does weight affect fertility when you have no fertility issues?

Why does weight affect fertility when you have no fertility issues and never affected before?

Weight affects hormonal balance, impacts inflammation of the system. If you are overweight – a Body Mass Index (BMI) of over 25, or your waist circumference for a woman is larger than 80 cm and for men larger than 85 cm around the bellybutton, you increase your risk of inability to conceive, risk of miscarriage, implantation issues, egg quality, and sperm quality issues.

Excess weight does play a role on the ability to conceive and keep a healthy pregnancy to term. It becomes one of those minor factors that because that is not working effectively, then other things start to kind of break down, kind of like the snowballing effect. Even if your partner is overweight, it does affect a woman’s ability to keep a pregnancy to term.

Being underweight or overweight will negatively impact fertility and weight issues are a definite cause of infertility.

On the overweight front, a recent study suggests that severely obese women are 43% less likely to get pregnant than normal-weight women. So, even women who have regular ovulation and menstrual cycles can have difficulty conceiving when they are overweight.

Scientists do not know exactly why obesity causes infertility. It could be because obesity in women is associated with abnormal sex steroids, and abnormal levels of insulin in the blood. This in turn leads to more problems such as abnormal periods, higher levels of male hormones, and an abnormal thickening of the uterus lining. One or a combination of these issues could result in infertility. Studies also show that healthy sperm density and parameters of obese males is lower than their healthy counterparts.

Experts suggest that even a weight loss of 5 to 10% can dramatically improve ovulation and chances of pregnancy. The only way to achieve this and stay healthy is avoiding crash diets. Weight management is certainly a common issue we address so for more information here’s other articles regarding fertility weight management.


Gabriela Rosa MScM, ND

We help couples struggling with fertility difficulties and recurrent miscarriages for over 2 years take home healthy babies, even when other treatments have failed. The Fertility Challenge online event is FREE and works to redefine fertility and empower couples through a proven, interactive and transformational 12-day journey on their path to parenthood. We have now successfully educated and inspired over 100,000 people in 100+ countries toward their dream of becoming a parent. Click Here to Register Today.