Even though the holidays are long over, many of us are still thinking about our New Year resolutions. For most, the goal of dropping ten pounds or hitting the gym is top of that list. And if you’ve been struggling with infertility, you know weight loss isn’t just about fitting into last summer’s jeans.
Does Weight Affect Fertility? In What Ways?
Maintaining a healthy weight is not only good for your body and overall health, it can affect your fertility treatment, too.
While many women who are overweight may not have problems conceiving, women with a high Body Mass Index (BMI) experiencing infertility may reduce their chances of pregnancy because of their weight.
According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), a BMI of 30 or greater may inhibit ovulation and lead to irregular menstrual cycles and ovulation patterns. Obesity has been linked to increased levels of insulin and insulin resistance. This can cause the ovaries to produce male hormones and stop releasing eggs, a condition known as Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).
Does My Weight and BMI Affect IVF and Infertility Treatments?
A high BMI also poses problems for women undergoing fertility treatment.
Sometimes, women with higher BMIs may require higher doses of medications during treatment, or may not respond as well to the medication. A higher BMI may make it more difficult for doctors to visualize the ovaries with an ultrasound, and the ultrasound monitoring may be less precise.
It can make egg retrievals, a key part of the In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) process, more difficult. Another thing to consider is that obese women have a greater risk of complications with anesthesia during egg retrieval.
Exercise Routines Around IVF
When it comes to fertility treatment, having a BMI between 19-25 is ideal.
So how do you get there? First, consider eating more plant-based foods like whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and limiting or eliminating sugar and processed, refined carbs from your diet.
When it comes to animal products, stick to chicken and fish. It might sound drastic, but the good news is that you’ll notice the difference very soon – your body and mind will thank you. On top of healthier, more mindful eating, try to move your body for at least a half hour each day.
Whether it’s a gym session, a walk with your dog or an evening dance party with a friend, the trick is just to keep moving.