It has been observed that certain lifestyle habits do die hard, and one has to overcome them which is rather a difficult proposition. These habits can make one put on weight too and changing such habits is not so easy. Weight levels do matter in making conception easy.

Body Mass Index (BMI) does inform one whether someone is underweight, healthy weight or overweight. It is calculated by dividing weight in kilograms by height in meters squared.

BMI does not of course perfectly correlate with fat mass. It does no doubt provide an idea of disease risk.

For women who are of healthy weight, a weight gain of 11.5 to 16 kg during pregnancy is recommended.

Overweight and obese adults are no doubt at an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, pancreatitis, and musculoskeletal diseases.

Infertility in overweight and obese men

  • Increased weight in males disrupts hormones and increases inflammation in the body, leading to infertility.
  • Excess weight does impair sperm production, size, and shape and also able to swim effectively, leading to infertility.
  • Increased weight affects hormone levels which decrease the production of testosterone from Leydig cells in the testes. The number of sperm is reduced, their ability to swim is decreased, and their size and shape are abnormal, thus inhibiting the sperm’s ability to fertilize an egg.
  • Excess weight increases oxidative stress which decreases sperm quality.
  • Excess weight regulates expression of the hormone Ghrelin. This inhibits testicular function, thus causing poor sperm health and infertility.
  • Overweight and obese men do have increased heat around the testes. This does induce oxidative stress and damaged sperm.

Infertility in overweight and obese women

  • Excess weight does disrupt hormone levels thus resulting in ovulation problems.
  • Excess weight also increases the risk of miscarriage, gestational diabetes, and stillbirth.
  • Obese women with a history of unexplained recurrent miscarriages have a 73% increased risk of experiencing another miscarriage.
  • Obesity does increase the risk of Gestational Diabetes, a condition that affects around 14% of pregnant women worldwide.
  • Gestational Diabetes does increase the risk of preterm and cesarean delivery and thus giving birth to a large baby. This does increase the child’s risk of obesity, heart disease, and blood sugar problems.
  • Excess weight in women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (the leading cause of infertility among women of reproductive age does impair ovulation and conception chances.
  • Overweight and obese women do require higher doses of hormones have fewer oocytes retrieved and have increased cycle cancellation rates when undergoing Assisted Reproductive Therapies. This does reduce the chance of successful conception even through Best ICSI treatment in Madhapur or Best IVF treatment in Hyderabad.
  • Losing weight does regulate the menstrual cycle and can also restore ovulation. This does directly increase a couple’s chances of conception and taking home a healthy baby.
  • Weight loss of 10% body weight for women who are over 100 kg can restart ovulation. Even a 5 kg loss increases the chance of giving birth to a baby by 61.9%.

Impact of maternal weight on the fetal development

  • One is aware that obesity does increase the risk of stillbirth and miscarriage.
  • Also, obese women have a 37% increased risk of miscarriage.
  • Obese women with poor blood sugar control (as seen in diabetes) have a 4-fold increased risk of miscarriage.
  • Maternal obesity does increase the risk of a child developing neural tube defects and structural heart defects 3-fold.
  • Folic acid supplementation is less effective in preventing neural tube defects in obese women.
  • Maternal overweight and obesity do increase a prospective child’s risk of asthma. Gaining more than 25 kg during pregnancy does increase inflammation in the child’s airways, causing asthma by 9 years of age.

Excessive weight gain during one’s pregnancy does increase a prospective child’s risk of obesity. This no doubt increases their risk of chronic diseases later in life