Women health

 Can obesity cause blocked fallopian tubes

Australia has one of the highest rates of overweight or obesity in the world. We are becoming aware that being overweight has an impact on fertility in addition to its many negative health implications.

Women's fertility is impacted by excess weight.

The menstrual cycle is regulated by a precise hormonal balance. Women who are overweight or obese have greater levels of leptin, a hormone made in fatty tissue. This may affect the balance of hormones and lower fertility.

Through a variety of hormonal pathways, body fat amount and distribution have an impact on the menstrual cycle. The likelihood of having fertility issues increases with increased weight and belly fat.

Insulin resistance, which occurs when the body must produce more insulin to maintain normal blood sugar levels, and reduced levels of sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), a protein involved in the regulation of the sex hormones androgen and estrogen, are both associated with excess weight, especially excess abdominal fat.

Due to the increased chance of irregular menstrual cycles, fertility is subsequently decreased. According to one study, women who are obese are substantially less likely than women who are in the normal weight range to become pregnant within a year of ceasing their contraceptive (66.4% of obese women become pregnant within a year, contrasted to 81.4% of women of normal weight).

Even though many obese women ovulate, it seems that the integrity of the eggs they produce is worse. This is supported by the fact that each unit of BMI above 29 reduces a woman's likelihood of becoming pregnant within a year by around 4%.

This indicates that compared to women with a BMI between 21 and 29, the likelihood of becoming pregnant within a year is 26% lower for a woman with a BMI of 35 and 43% lower for a woman with a BMI of 40.

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Furthermore, compared to women with normal BMI, women who are overweight or obese have a reduced chance of having a live delivery when couples utilize IVF to conceive. The likelihood of live birth with IVF is typically 9% lower for women who are overweight and 20% lower for those who are obese when compared to women in the normal weight range.

Male fertility is affected by excess weight.

Obesity is linked to decreased fertility in men. This is probably caused by a number of different things. These include hormonal issues, erectile dysfunction, and other illnesses connected to obesity like type 2 diabetes and sleep apnoea (all of which are connected to low testosterone and erectile issues).

Male fertility is thought to decline by 10% for every 10 extra kilograms carried.

In a review of research on the impact of paternal obesity on pregnancy outcome, it was discovered that obese men were more likely to suffer infertility and were less likely to give birth to a live child if they and their partner utilized artificial insemination technology (ART), such as IVF.

This is believed to be the case because obesity alters the physical and molecular composition of sperm cells, which decreases sperm quality.

The encouraging news

Although the information regarding obesity and fertility may seem overwhelming, there is also some positive news. Weight-loss programs, especially those that combine diet and exercise, can encourage normal menstrual cycles and increase the likelihood of getting pregnant. Even a small weight decrease of 5–10% increases fertility and the likelihood of conception in obese women with anovulatory infertility.

To improve a person's health and fertility, it is advised that they lose 7% of their body weight and increase their physical exercise to at least 150 minutes per week of moderate intensity.

Finally, if their partner also changes their health behavior, men and women are twice as likely to do so. So if you eat and exercise together, getting pregnant will be more likely.


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