Problems with fertility have plagued women for centuries. However, due to its sensitive nature, the topic of fertility has typically been kept private.
Thankfully, in the past several decades, the issue of fertility, in both women and men, has come to the forefront of many medical discussions.
And women are becoming more and more comfortable talking about their struggles with fertility with their doctors and with others.
Despite the growing community of those discussing and working towards solutions for fertility, there are still many questions about why people struggle with this problem and what can be done to help.
In recent years, several strides have been made that have helped women better understand their struggles with fertility, which comes as a huge relief towards those who are ready to start their families.
Obesity and its relation to fertility has become an extremely important area of study for many doctors, scientists, and health professionals.
As the problem of obesity has risen in North America, so has the issue of fertility, and many wanted to know if there is a correlation.
Since people who struggle with their weight find it uncomfortable to discuss this topic with their doctors, it has been complicated for many to find results.
However, this is also changing, as people open up about their difficulties and ask for honest, helpful feedback.
Obesity and Fertility
Studies and research have proven that there is a direct link between obesity and fertility in women. It should be remembered that in the medical field, obesity is measured by a person’s body mass index (BMI).
This means that even people who don’t look overweight or obese might still be placed in these categories. Losing weight and lowering their BMI is what most doctors will suggest for those who are overweight and are having issues with fertility.
Women who have high BMI have higher frequency of pregnancy loss, whether through miscarriage or stillbirth. In fact, obese women have twice the likelihood of experiencing a stillbirth as those who weigh less.
These fertility issues aren’t the only problems that overweight women have to deal with when starting their families.
They are also at more risk of having surgery complications while giving birth. They are more likely to have pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, and hypertension.
While these facts can be extremely discouraging, most doctors will suggest a relatively simple solution, especially when compared to fertility treatments.
A woman who loses just 10% of her overall bodyweight is much more likely to become pregnant than if she kept that weight.
Losing weight can improve fertility in women, offering them a way to finally start the families they want.
Weight Loss and Fertility
When looking at reasons for fertility issues in relation to weight, there are usually two culprits: polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and increased estrogen levels.
PCOS is an endocrine disorder that comes with a host of issues, including irregular periods, pain in the ovaries, acne, over-growth of hair, as well as cysts in the ovaries.
Having too much estrogen in the system overwhelms the reproductive system, which will begin to act like it’s on birth control. Many people with high levels of estrogen will experience short and light periods, or not have any at all.
The relation between too much estrogen and weight is extremely clear. Fat produces estrogen, so when there is too much fat in a woman, she begins to create more estrogen than her body knows how to process. This will result in the symptoms mentioned above.
And, because her ovulation isn’t consistent or heavy enough, it will become difficult for her to get pregnant.
The best, and healthiest solution for dealing with high levels of estrogen is to lose weight. The less fat on a person, the lower the production of estrogen will be.
If excess estrogen was the main reason behind a woman’s fertility problem, even cutting out a little bit of fat can be enough to get her system working properly.
Polycystic ovary syndrome is a little more complicated to deal with than high levels of estrogen. With this condition, the ovaries begin producing too many androgens, which are actually male hormones.
While low amounts of these hormones are normal in women, when there are too many, they cause an imbalance in the body.
One of the biggest issues with PCOS is that it makes the body resistant to the hormone regulating abilities of the pancreas.
The pancreas releases insulin to help keep glucose levels balanced, but PCOS renders women insulin resistant. This makes the pancreas release more and more insulin, which leads to dangerously high insulin levels in the body. And, these high insulin levels lead to the body producing more male hormones.
Many are unsure if PCOS causes obesity or if obesity causes PCOS. However, one thing everyone agrees on is that weight loss is an extremely effective way to combat the insulin resistance issue that PCOS causes.
Losing even a fraction of overall bodyweight can result in less insulin being produced, which will in turn lower the male hormone levels. The result is that women begin menstruating more regularly and increase their probabilities of getting pregnant.
Weight Loss Plans for Fertility
While struggling with fertility is extremely difficult, there are ways women can change their lifestyles to both lose weight and to improve their likelihood of getting pregnant.
By exercising regularly and eating deliberately, women can lose the weight to fight their fertility problems and get their body healthy and ready to carry their child.
One of the first things that most health professionals will suggest to lose weight and improve fertility is to increase the number of fruits and vegetables eaten every day.
And, while any vegetables are better than none, women should go organic as much as possible. The same is true for their meats, which should be grass-fed.
Women with PCOS should avoid dairy, using almond, coconut, or even rice products instead. If dairy can’t be completely avoided, it should be raw and whole fat.
While carbohydrates don’t need to be cut out of the diet completely, they should be made with whole grains. These are both nutritious and full of fiber, which will help keep blood sugar levels balanced.
Finally, to lose weight and increase the likelihood of fertility, women should cut out sugary drinks as much as possible. Water is a great way to clear and cleanse the body, riding it of unnecessary chemicals and substances.