How does overweight affect female fertility?

female fertility

Female fertility is affected by several factors. It has been demonstrated that weight can significantly affect the time it takes a healthy woman to get pregnant. Obesity and extreme thinness can negatively influence the menstrual cycle, the normal development of eggs or the ability to get pregnant.

Some overweight women have hormonal imbalances that alter their menstrual cycles and their ovulation, making it difficult to conceive.

Overweight and obesity are closely related to Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) which is a disease that causes sex hormones imbalances. In women with PCOS, the ovaries do not produce enough hormones to stimulate the egg and achieve its maturation. Additionally, the ovaries produce high levels of androgens, which may interfere with the development and release of eggs in some cases.

Obesity can also affect the normal course of pregnancy: overweight women are at higher risk of experiencing complications during pregnancy (e.g gestational diabetes). Furthermore, high weight in pregnant women can influence the baby development. In this regard, children born from these women are more likely to be overweight and obese.

Being overweight not only affects women who are trying to achieve the pregnancy naturally but also those who undergo assisted reproduction techniques.

What is considered as healthy weight?

The ideal weight is calculated through the Body Mass Index in order to know if the weight is correct according to the height and not only to the number marked by the scale. A BMI over 25 is considered overweight. In this regard, the ability to conceive for a woman may be reduced when her BMI exceeds this limit compared to those women who have normal index (BMI 18, 5-24).

The Body Mass Index is calculated by dividing the weight (kg) by the height (meters) raised to the square: kg / m².

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