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Your weight: a key element with respect to fertility

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Women with weight problems find it more difficult to get pregnant and follow assisted reproductive treatments

Your weight: a key element with respect to fertility

A healthy lifestyle is always recommendable, but when one decides to have a baby, this option becomes practically an obligation. The truth is, there are certain factors which are not often considered but affect our chances of conceiving, and one of these is excess weight.

According to Word Health Organisation (WHO) figures, one out of every two Europeans is overweight or obese. Excess weight is determined based on the Body Mass Index (BMI)*, an index which, in accordance with the WHO values, helps to determine the nutritional health of a person.

Fertility problems related to weight may develop in women with obesity. In such cases, hormonal imbalances may occur that lead to alterations in menstrual cycles, causing irregular periods and making a natural pregnancy difficult.

Moreover, when other female infertility factors apart from excess weight intervene and it is necessary to use assisted reproductive therapy -either in vitro fertilisation or artificial insemination– it will be even more difficult to conceive.

DifFficulties in following the treatment

The obesity itself makes it more difficult for the medication to take effect and for this reason, an obese woman will require higher doses of drugs to achieve the same effect as a woman whose weight is normal. On the other hand, in women with weight problems the implantation of the embryo is usually more difficult.

In addition, obese women run greater risks during their pregnancy. For instance, there is a greater risk of suffering from gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, delays in the child’s development or having to have a C-section. On the other hand, the excess weight itself entails a difficulty in performing the habitual medical tests for monitoring the pregnancy, such as ultrasound scans.

Losing weight is gaining health

To be able to follow these treatments in complete safety, Eugin Clinic asks its patients to fulfil certain health requirements. In the case of in vitro fertilisation, for example, a BMI equal to or less than 35 is required. If the patient fails to comply with these requirements, she must lose weight until she does comply.

The recommendation to lose weight before starting treatment will help increase the possibilities of becoming pregnant, but above all it will help improve the health of the patient herself. Losing weight is no easy task; it is often a chronic condition which has lasted for years and is difficult to respond to.
For this reason, it is advisable to enlist the help of a professional: a nutritionist will ensure that dieting is more effective and enable you to achieve results without creating nutritional deficits.

Not only with this help to achieve a healthy lifestyle before, during and after the pregnancy but it will guarantee a generally positive state of health.

* A normal weight is considered to be that of a woman whose BMI is between 18.5 and 25, whereas that of another woman with a BMI equal to or greater than 25 is described as overweight. In the following cases, women with an index above 30 are obese and those with an index over 40 are morbidly obese.

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