Does your weight affect your ability to get pregnant? Being overweight, obese, and underweight can tilt the hormones into an unfavorable environment. Obesity is not just a female problem; it has been associated with both female and male infertility. According to current statistics, obesity affects 650 million adults and has not only become a health concern for heart disease, diabetes mellitus, and hypertension but also affects low sperm count, menstrual disorders, anovulation, miscarriage, adverse obstetric outcomes, along with infertility treatment failures. Obesity in women affects the hypothalamus-pituitary gland-ovary axis and has become a cause of female infertility. Approximately 10 percent of women in the United States have difficulty getting pregnant or staying pregnant, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. There is also a finding that 11 percent of overweight men had a low sperm count 39 percent had no sperm count whereas 42 percent of obese men had a low sperm count and 81 percent had no sperm count.
In a recent study, they found that of the 6035 infertile and non-pregnant women there were 62% obese women. These women have higher odds of infertility when compared to non-obese women of reproductive age (20-44 years). Healthy dietary changes, an increase in physical activity, and lifestyle modifications can potentially improve the chances of becoming pregnant and sustaining a pregnancy. Other research has shown that moderate weight loss of 5% to 10% of a woman’s initial weight improved their odds of pregnancy. Studies on male infertility have also shown that infertility has been associated with several factors due to physical composition. These physical factors include increased scrotal temperature due to adipose tissue deposits, systemic inflammation, and oxidative stress due to adipose tissue-proinflammatory mediators.
In conclusion, it’s important to note that while weight loss has shown to be a contributing factor, research is still needed to find the underlying cause. Infertility is also associated with other health and anatomical causes. Weight loss has shown an improvement in pregnancy and sustaining a pregnancy and while there is not presently an exact number documented stating that losing weight gives you a certain percentage of getting pregnant. However, research does demonstrate that being overweight and obese does have a correlation to infertility.
Hear from the Salazaar’s about how their weight loss at Calla affected their fertility journey:
Data on Infertility Described by Researchers at University of Texas Health Science Center Houston (Obesity In Infertile Women, a Cross-sectional Study of the United States Using Nsfg 2011-2019). Women’s Health Weekly. December 2021. Accessed July 26, 2022
Gargi Ray Chaudhuri, Arnab Das, Swaraj Bandhu Kesh, et al. Obesity and male infertility: multifaceted reproductive disruption. Middle East Fertility Society Journal. 2022;27(1):1-12. doi:10.1186/s43043-022-00099-2
“Lifestyle program improves fertility for women with obesity, infertility.” Women’s Health Weekly, 8 Apr. 2021, p. 382. Gale OneFile: Business, link.gale.com/apps/doc/A657336008/ITBC?u=uphoenix&sid=ebsco&xid=75a4cb7c. Accessed 22 July 2022.
Office on Women’s Health (February 22, 2021) https://www.womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics/infertility#:~:text=Yes.-,About%2010%20percent%20of%20women%20(6.1%20million)%20in%20the%20United,Control%20and%20Prevention%20(CDC). Retrieved 26 July 2022