How does weight impact fertility? Is your weight in the normal range? What can you do about it?
Weight plays a predominant role when it comes to getting pregnant as weight influences the functioning of a woman’s body in numerous ways. Being underweight or being overweight/ obese can make getting pregnant harder. It can negatively impact the hormonal balance in a woman’s body thereby making it difficult for her to ovulate and conceive. Obesity can affect the chances of conception, with excess weight linked to irregular periods and conditions such as polycystic ovaries. How much a woman weighs when she gets pregnant and how much weight she gains during her pregnancy period can affect her health and the baby’s as well. Obesity and overweight in women has an impact on the fertility treatment as well.
Higher the BMI, greater the risk
BMI (Body Mass Index) calculation is a simple way to find out whether you are a healthy weight for your height. A BMI of 25 or above is associated with certain risks. A person with a BMI of 30 or above is considered to be obese. To keep the best of your health before and during pregnancy, aim for a BMI below 25. It is to be noted here that a healthy BMI for pregnancy is different for everyone.
Obese/ Overweight/ Underweight
Even if you're significantly overweight, don't feel like your situation is hopeless. Research has found that losing even just 10% of your current body weight may be enough to boost your fertility even that would still have you move from obese to the overweight category. But while lots of research has focused on the negative impact of obesity, a new study suggests being underweight is just as bad if not more so.
Don’t go for crash diets
Some diets can reduce the nutrients your baby needs to grow and develop. Don’t try to stay at the same weight or lose weight during pregnancy. The risks during pregnancy and delivery are at the lowest when weight gain is kept within a healthy range. Obesity during pregnancy is risky for both mother and child, with some risks including gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, Cesarean delivery, birth defects, and more.
Inculcate healthy eating habits
A healthy diet will benefit both you and your baby during pregnancy and after birth. A diet will never be as effective as healthy habits. It’s never too early or too late to make smart, sustainable lifestyle choices - ones that will keep you healthy and happy
Be physically active
If you have not previously exercised routinely, you should begin with about 15 minutes of continuous exercise, three times per week, increasing gradually to 30-minute sessions every day. Healthy exercises during pregnancy include swimming, walking, and pregnancy yoga. It is always better to consult your physician before starting an exercise regimen.
There are so many factors that can influence your health, such as age, family history, lifestyle, and more. While hormonal imbalances don’t always mean you’ll have trouble getting pregnant, you might experience irregular ovulation and menstrual cycles, making it harder to conceive.
If you're overweight and expecting, you face increased health risks, but you can turn things around. While pregnancy is not the time to lose weight, women should not use ‘being pregnant’ as an excuse to eat more than is necessary. The amount of food a woman needs during pregnancy depends on a number of things like her body mass index before pregnancy, the rate at which she gains weight, age, and appetite. But in general, pregnant women should eat a variety of nutrient-rich foods every day for a healthy pregnancy!
Are you pregnant? We, at Prashanth, have experts who can assist you. Our pregnancy care center is available to discuss your options and overcome any pregnancy challenges that come your way!