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Weight and Infertility in Women

Dallas IVF is home to experts in reproductive medicine, and the physicians at our Dallas fertility center understand how different health and lifestyle factors can contribute to a patient’s fertility.

One particularly strong relationship is between weight and infertility. Patients may have trouble getting pregnant if they are underweight or overweight; however, there are steps women can take to improve their fertility.

Weight and infertility problems can occur when a patient is underweight or overweight

While many women who are underweight or overweight have no trouble getting pregnant, our Dallas fertility center knows that weight and infertility issues can occur together. Some women may experience ovulation problems when their body mass index (BMI) is too high or too low.

  • Women who have a BMI of less than 19 are considered underweight, which can result in irregular menstrual cycles. Some women may stop ovulating.
  • Women who have a BMI between 25 and 29 are considered overweight, and women who have a BMI greater than 30 are considered obese. Women in these categories can also experience irregular menstrual cycles and irregular ovulation as well as other disorders that can impact pregnancy, including diabetes, insulin resistance and thyroid disease. Additionally, women who are obese have lower pregnancy rates and higher rates of miscarriage, pregnancy complications and birth defects in their babies.
  • Men who are overweight or obese can also have fertility issues, including a low sperm count and negative changes in reproductive hormones like testosterone.

Achieving a normal BMI can help women conceive and have a healthy pregnancy

The physicians at our Dallas fertility center follow the guidelines from the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM). The recommended BMI for pregnancy is between 19 and 24, which is a range that is considered normal and healthy.

If a woman with a low or high BMI is considering pregnancy, it is important for her to consult with a healthcare provider. After considering factors such as age and other causes of infertility, we can help chart a course of action. For women who are overweight, most doctors will recommend incorporating dietary changes and exercise. If a woman has a BMI above 40, doctors may recommend weight loss surgery.

Whether you have a low BMI or a high BMI, there are steps you can take to improve your health and fertility. If you would like more information about weight and infertility, please contact our office.