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Obesity and Infertility

The obesity epidemic has reached epic levels, with nearly two-thirds of American adults classified as overweight or obese.

As obesity levels have increased, so have the number of couples struggling with infertility. While many obese women are able to become pregnant without assistance, a recent study found that the higher a women’s BMI the less likely she was to become pregnant on her own without medical assistance. Understanding how a healthy or unhealthy weight can affect your own fertility can help you when making decisions about treatment options.

Obese women may require different doses of IVF medication

A recent study published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM) discussed the effect obesity had on in vitro fertility (IVF) treatments. In order to collect eggs during IVF women are given a medication called a GnRH antagonist which prevents the brain from signaling the ovaries to release eggs too quickly.

The study found that in obese patients the medication not only cleared out of the body too quickly but that another hormone that signals the body to release eggs surged. They believe this is one of the reasons some obese patients have had less success with IVF than average weight patients. All patients of Connecticut Fertility Center Park Avenue Fertility are given a comprehensive review before Dr. Levi customizes a treatment plan based on your history, health, and weight.

Aside from trouble conceiving, some obese women may also experience additional difficulties during pregnancies. Some common fertility issues associated with obesity include:

  • Ovulation problems
  • Miscarriage
  • Diabetes
  • Low birth weight
  • High-risk pregnancy

Treating obesity related infertility

One of the best things you can do for your fertility is obtain a healthy weight. Taking time to eat well and exercise can help reduce weight and also provide your body with nutrients and health benefits that can improve your likelihood of becoming pregnant. Obese patients can still experience a healthy pregnancy, but being a healthy weight and practicing good health habits improve your entire pregnancy. To learn more about nutrition during pregnancy contact one of our wellness partners. To learn more about successful IVF in Connecticut, treatment for recurrent miscarriages, or Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) contact our office at 855-901-BABY (2229).