If you are overweight or underweight, it could affect your chances of getting pregnant. This could cause problems during pregnancy as well. You should try to achieve a healthy weight while trying to get pregnant. This could boost your chances of a healthy pregnancy and baby. More information on how your weight affects your chances of getting pregnant include the following:
- HOW DOES BEING OVERWEIGHT OR OBESE AFFECT MY CHANCES OF GETTING PREGNANT?
Being overweight can make it difficult for you to get pregnant. Take for example, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common causes of infertility in women. Being Overweight or obese can affect fertility by:
- Preventing ovulation: Your ovaries make the female hormone (oestrogen). Fat cells make oestrogen as well. As you add weight, your fat cells grow and release more oestrogen. Excessive natural oestrogen could make your body to react as if you are taking hormonal birth control with oestrogen (like the pill, vaginal ring or shot). This could prevent you from ovulating and having your normal monthly period.
- Prevents fertility treatments from working: Obesity can lower one’s chances getting pregnant with certain fertility treatments like in vitro fertilization (IVF).
- HOW DOES BEING UNDERWEIGHT AFFECT MY CHANCES OF GETTING PREGNANT?
If you are underweight and your BMI is 18.5 or less, you could experience difficulty getting pregnant. Being underweight could cause your body to stop making oestrogen. This could cause irregular menstrual cycles. You may stop ovulating and menstruating as well. This may true especially if you are losing weight because you are not eating well or because you are exercising too much. In order for pregnancy to occur, you need to ovulate, so that the egg released can be fertilized by the sperm. Your body needs to be able to support the developing baby in the womb as well.
- COULD ACHIEVEING A HEALTHY WEIGHT HELP ME GET PREGNANT?
Yes, it could. Every woman Is different, but studies have been able to show that women who were overweight or obese previously boosted their chances of getting pregnant when they lost weight. Weight loss also helped menstrual cycles return to normal. Women who need to gain weight before getting pregnant, should do so naturally and talk to their healthcare provider on how to gain weight safely.
- EXCESS WEIGHT AFFECTS MALE FERTILITY TOO
Obesity is associated with lower fertility in men. This is likely due to a combination of factors which include sexual dysfunction, hormone problems, and other health conditions linked to obesity such as type 2 diabetes which is associated with erectile problems and lower testosterone levels.
TIPS FOR ACHIEVING A HEALTHY WEIGHT BEFORE PREGNANCY
- Eat balanced diet which consists of the following: Legumes, fruits, vegetables, while grain bread, cereals, milk, yoghurt, lean meat, chicken, fish, nuts and eggs.
- Cut back on foods such as fatty meats, cakes, chips, biscuits, fast foods and confectionaries OR, eat them in small amounts.
- Eat regular meals and limit your intake of unhealthy snacking
- Swap sugary drinks and alcohol for water
- Use a smaller plate to help you reduce portion sizes
- Keep fit by exercising. Walking and jogging are good for you
- Spend less time sitting by getting up regular while using a mobile device or computer
- You can feel motivated by setting a realistic weight goal for yourself
- You can start a regular eating and exercise plan with your partner to boost your chances of getting pregnant and having a healthy baby.
Making conscious effort to achieve a healthy weight will make a difference to your overall health. You should try to achieve a healthier lifestyle before you get pregnant as this can boost
your chances of getting pregnant.