Infertility and Obesity
Infertility and obesity can be connected. Infertility is defined as the inability to naturally become pregnant within 12 months of regularly trying to conceive. Obesity is a major contributor to infertility in men and women during the childbearing years. In couples where one or both partners are obese, infertility can also be associated with Type 2 Diabetes, sleep irregularities, hypertension, and high blood pressure.
What Are the Symptoms in Women?
Infertility and obesity for women are definitely linked but the process is a bit more complicated. Most studies show obesity compounds the cycle of infertility problems. An overweight or obese woman with a BMI 30-40 may have the following problems:
- No ovulation
- Too few ovulations
- Ovulations on an irregular schedule
- No periods or excessive bleeding during a period
A notable percentage of obese women can also experience a significant cycle of weight gain caused by Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). PCOS symptoms is aggravated by obesity.
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How are infertility and obesity connected?
Obese men can have a lower sperm count or have poor quality sperm. Fat tissue can convert available testosterone into oestrogen. Obesity can cause a drop in testosterone levels and result in erectile dysfunction. Obesity can also lead to a higher body temperature around the testicles limiting the production of healthy sperm cells.
Data on Infertility and Obesity Surgery
In both women and men of childbearing age, bariatric or obesity surgery has been shown in many studies to improve fertility, but may not guarantee pregnancy. Some studies have shown that Type 2 Diabetes may be a catalyst for infertility. Resistance to insulin may also be related to chemical problems with sex hormone receptors. Women in particular were most likely to experience a beneficial change in their ovulation, and a healthy menstrual cycle from the weight loss that follows bariatric surgery.
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