Will Extra Pounds Affect Your Fertility?
What you should know if you're overweight and trying to conceive
Deciding to become a parent is exciting. You and your partner are about to create new life together through the power of your love. It’s a heady feeling that definitely can bring you closer, but if you’re a plus-size woman, you may worry about the impact your weight has on getting pregnant.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 61 percent of adults in the United States are overweight or obese, which means most of us are carrying around extra weight. Concerned about how this affects your fertility? The following steps can help you get on the right track for conception, pregnancy, and beyond.
Schedule a Preconception Physical
Visit your gynecologist before you toss birth control out the window. During your preconception checkup you should discuss medications, lifestyle changes, and possible stumbling blocks to conception, such as your weight. Being overweight can cause irregularities with your menstrual cycle and suppress ovulation. You’ll be encouraged to get close to your ideal weight according to body mass index charts, but losing even 10 pounds often has a significant positive impact on fertility.
Remember that diet drugs are taboo when trying to conceive. Losing weight is a personal choice (and for many of women, a difficult path), so consider your own feelings when making the decision. It’s also important to note that losing too much too quickly can make it difficult to conceive.
Discuss Major Causes of Fertility Problems
Underactive or Overactive Thyroid
According to the National Women’s Health Information Center (NWHIC), an underactive or overactive thyroid can impair fertility and cause problems during pregnancy. Ask your physician for a complete thyroid profile (the traditional thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) test is not enough because an underactive thyroid sometimes is only detected with thyroid antibody levels).
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