Is Your Lifestyle Hindering Your Chances of Starting a Family?

Obesity and Your Chances of Conception

Your lifestyle is the collection of your habits and attitudes. What you eat and your physical activities are a part of your lifestyle. Being obese or overweight is often a result of bad eating habits and a lack of physical activity. On the flip side, fit peoplemen and women alike – who have a normal amount of body fat, generally have higher chances of conceiving than obese and overweight people do.

Women’s Weight and Fertility

It’s quite simple. A woman’s body that has too many fat cells in it is usually producing excessive adverse hormones such as LH and estrogen. An excess of these hormones can cause irregularities in your cycle and interfere with ovulation. When the ovulation cycle is disrupted, getting pregnant becomes much more difficult. Now you might say, “What if I don’t want to lose weight? I can just take fertility treatments. I have the money to spend anyway.” The reality is that excessive weight can mean less success for that too. It’s because too much body fat obstructs the proper absorption of fertility drugs. So really, there’s no escape. A fitter body equates a better chance at fertility.

Other Problems

However, obesity’s negative effects on women don’t stop at conception. Even when a baby is underway, the mother being obese or overweight puts her at great risk of miscarriage and premature birth. This is because these women are more prone to hypertension and diabetes during pregnancy. As a result, their capacity to carry on a healthy, successful pregnancy is compromised.

Men, Obesity and Fertility

More often than not, when a couple is having troubles conceiving, people assume it’s the woman who has infertility issues. The truth is, in 30 percent of couples who can’t conceive, it’s the man who’s infertile. And yes, obesity is a factor in this too.

On a chemical level, having too many fat cells produces too much leptin, a hormone which can damage sperm cells.On a physical level, elevated temperatures within the scrotum, due to excessive fat, can also damage sperm cells. Additionally, excessive weight can cause hormonal changes that can make men less interested in intercourse.

Because of the aforementioned reasons, obese or overweight men are more likely to suffer infertility due to low sperm count or lack of viable sperm, compared to fit men.

How to Calculate Your Body Mass Index (BMI)

BMI is a weight-to-height ratio where your weight is divided by the square of your height. BMI calculators are easily available for free on the Internet. Generally, a healthy BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9. A BMI between 25 and 29.9 is classified as overweight. Having a BMI of at least 30 makes you obese.

Being Healthy Means Better Chances for a Baby

    • The bottom line is if you and your spouse are trying to conceive, having a healthy weight might help you.
    • If you’re having a hard time conceiving, don’t rush to conclusions and expensive solutions. Maybe you just need to lose a few kilos.
    • Now the harder question: If you are overweight or obese, how can you lose weight? There are general guidelines like eating more fruits and vegetables, choosing fish and white meat to red meat, and going to the gym, just to name a few.
    • However, depending on your medical background, there are weight loss guidelines that will be more suitable for you. Talk to your doctor and discuss a diet and exercise plan. Contrary to popular belief, when it comes to getting healthy, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. It’s different for everyone.

Author: Dr. Bohaira El Geyoushi, Brand Spokesperson Clearblue and Consultant Ob-Gyn

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Akshay Sharma

Hi! I’m Akshay Sharma. I’m a blogger at Imagination Waffle. I love to read and write about Fitness, Health & Lifestyle topics.