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Monday, April 16, 2007

Does Weight Influence Fertility?

Author: Mary Leahy

There is a growing concern in the world today as obesity takes over. We are seeing more and more health problems due to obesity and a big concern and a critical one is fertility.

There have been reports that people who are obese may have fertility problems, one example being that men may have low sperm counts.

Childbearing omen who are overweight or obese have many unique health concerns. The health of the mother and the child can be at risk. The following are some of the risks:

  • Irregular menstrual cycles leading to increase risk of infertility
  • Increased or higher incident of miscarriages.
  • Greater risk of high blood pressure which can further lead to heart problems for the mother or lead to fetal distress
  • Greater incident of developing diabetes during pregnancy
  • Greater incident of having high birth weight infants
  • Increaseof high birth weight infants, leads to increase risk of Cesarean section.
  • Increased risk of  birth defects

Another huge concern today is the health risk involved in having IVF treatments when obese.

The BBC News reported - "The British Fertility Society is recommending women with a body mass index of 36 and over should not be allowed access to fertility treatment."

However the NHS (National Health Service) guidelines say "overweight women should be advised of potential health risk but don't ban the treatment".

The health risk  for obese women during fertility surgery, is the concern that when extracting the egg, due to the excess fat, this excess fat may push the ovaries up higher, therefore making it harder for the needle to reach the ovaries to extract the eggs. Additionally, during the surgery the needle is guided by using a scan. It may be difficult to get a clear image of the ovaries as having to scan through excess fat which impedes the scan.

Couples who want to start a family or have children but wish to have more, but have become overweight or obese, should look at improving their health and weight, before trying to conceive. To avoid disappointment and frustration trying to get pregnant, it is better to combat your weight and the best way is to look at a lifestyle change rather than a diet.

By understanding your body, what foods cause you to gain weight and which ones help you to lose weight, as well as understanding portion size and when to feed your body, will help you in the years to come rather than a quick fix.

Be healthy, not only for yourself, but for your family. Your children will want to have a healthy happy parent and enjoy a full lifetime with them.

About the author:
Mary Leahy is a registered nurse with many years experience in nutrition and assisting patient and their families on the benefits of a healthier lifestyle. She also lived overseas where she had the opportunity to observe and study a variety of cultures and their eating habits. With the help of her husband they came up with this healthy eating program designed to help you understand food and lose weight.

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  • posted by Fertility Goddess @ 8:51 AM


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