On a serious note, sustaining an ideal body weight is not only crucial for our overall health and well being but studies have now come to conclude that there is a direct effect of our body mass on fertility as well as the results of infertility treatment and pregnancy.
While the general assumption is that when we say weight issues, we are implying excess fat and referring to overweight women. But to tell you, women who are underweight (BMI less than 19) may not be getting enough nutrients, which can cause their bodies to ovulate infrequently or not at all. So, being underweight is as much an issue like being overweight.
Overweight women witness an unhealthy rise in insulin levels which may even trigger the secretion of male hormones and stop releasing eggs, which results in ovulatory dysfunction. With correction in weight changes, women on both sides of the weighing scale both may resume ovulation naturally without the need for fertility medications.
RECOMMENDED BMI FOR CONCEIVING WOMEN
A healthy body weight can lead to healthy results for both the mother and her baby. According to the Institute of Medicine, obesity is defined by a parameter calculated by the height and weight of the patient to determine the body mass index, or BMI.
Defined by a BMI index figure below 19
Defined by a BMI index figure between 19 to 25
Defined by a BMI of 25 or greater
Defined by a BMI of 30-34.9 (Class 1 obesity)
Defined by a BMI between 35-39.9 (Class II obesity)
Defined by a BMI above 40 (Class III obesity)
You can determine your own BMI using the online BMI calculator found https://goo.gl/xiHCww
NORMAL BMI OPTIMISES FERTILITY TREATMENT SUCCESS
When women are under or overweight, their BMI has been found to impair successful outcomes for fertility treatment. Some of the complications that can arise as a result of a high BMI may include
1) Lower response to medication used to regulate or initiate ovulation
2) Greater need for carefully titrated dosing of medication, especially in patients with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
3) In response to medications used to induce ovulation, women who are overweight or obese have a greater frequency of over-response and a higher risk of overstimulation and/or multiple pregnancies.
4) If a multiple pregnancy occurs, there are greater complications in patients with high BMI than in multiple pregnancies in patients with a normal BMI.
5) More complications with in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment
6) Fewer eggs retrieved
7) Greater difficulty retrieving eggs with increased risk of bleeding or injury
8) Greater anesthesia risk at the egg retrieval, including maintaining adequate airway, hypertension, and aspiration 1,2
9) Greater difficulty with embryo transfer in visualizing the uterus and accomplishing the transfer effectively
10) Lower embryo implantation rates 3
11) Lower IVF success rates 3,4
For those women who are overweight and get pregnant, there are increased risks of complications during pregnancy, which may include:
1) Higher frequency of early pregnancy loss (miscarriage)
2) Greater anesthesia-related surgical complications if any surgery is required (i.e., D&C for miscarriage)
3) Greater frequency of hypertension, gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia, still birth, and other pregnancy complications 5,6,7
4) Increased risk of requiring caesarean section delivery. The caesarean section rate is almost 50 percent in obese women 5
5) Due to larger babies, there is a greater delivery complication rate for those delivering vaginally 6
It’s important to note, with all the potential complications and adverse effects, reduction in BMI through weight loss has been demonstrated to significantly improve fertility treatment success, lower complications of treatment, and lower complications of pregnancy.
TIPS TO CORRECT YOUR BMI
1) Eat in moderation and exercise for at least 60 minutes daily - Walking the family dog, cycling to school, and doing other things that increase your daily level of activity can all make a difference. If you want to burn more calories, increase the intensity of your workout and add some strength exercises to build muscle. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn, even when you aren't exercising.
2) Reduce your exposure to screen - People who spend a lot of time in front of screens are more likely to be overweight. Set reasonable limits on the amount of time you spend watching TV, playing video games, and using computers, phones, and tablets not related to school work.
3) Up your eating frequency, lower your portion size - Big portions pile on extra calories that cause weight gain. Sugary beverages, such as sodas, juice drinks, and sports drinks, are empty calories that also contribute to obesity. So choose smaller portions (or share restaurant portions) and go for water or low-fat milk instead of soda. Eat 5 servings of fruits and veggies a day. Fruits and veggies are about more than just vitamins and minerals. They're also packed with fiber, which means they fill you up. And when you fill up on fruits and veggies, you're less likely to overeat.
4) Don't forget your fuel, Don't skip breakfast - Breakfast kickstarts your metabolism, burning calories from the get-go and giving you energy to do more during the day. People who skip breakfast often feel so hungry that they eat more later on. So they get more calories than they would have if they ate breakfast. In fact, people who skip breakfast tend to have higher BMIs than people who eat breakfast.
5) Don't binge eat - Random snacking throughout the day, or bingeing, is a major culprit for weight gain. Limit eating to set mealtimes, and control portion sizes. It helps to eliminate snack foods from your home so that the temptation isn’t there.
6) Set a time table and move accordingly - A fixed time for eating, sleeping, working and leisure every day lets your body get into a rhythm.
7) Sleep at least 2 hours after your last meal of the day. Sleep for at least 7 hours a day.
8) Avoid fried dishes, packaged juices and processed foods.
9) Have a light but healthy dinner.