Body weight does have an influence on fertility. It is advisable for both men and women who are trying to conceive to ensure their weight is within a healthy range. This can easily be assessed by calculating Body Mass Index (BMI). This considers ideal weight with respect to height.
Being overweight will increase the likelihood of taking one year to conceive. Some overweight women have a condition called Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). This is characterised by a decrease in the female hormones which are needed to simulate egg maturation. Conversely, PCOS can also involve an increase in male hormones via the increase in insulin. This will result in making ovulation more difficult.
For underweight women, their likelihood of conceiving within a year is half that of women who are within healthy weight range. Fat is used to store oestrogen. If there is not enough fat to store oestrogen, it will affect the regularity of ovulation and the menstrual cycle.
This myth can be a strange one to get the head around. Some women find it hard to accept they need to lose weight when they have seen women, who are much more over weight, have no troubles in conceiving. Please be aware excess weight will affect people differently. So, if you are carrying extra weight and trying for a baby, it will be wise to shed the weight as a prevention.
Even if an obese woman manages to conceive, there still remains potential problems during pregnancy. These may include: miscarriage; hypertension; pre-eclampsia; gestational diabetes; infection; blood clotting; stillbirth and increased rates of caesarean.
*This is the tenth of a list of 13 myths concerning conception which was compiled by Dr Minna Geisler from The Waterstone Clinic in Ireland.