I always assumed that when I was ready to start a family, it would be fairly simple and I could get pregnant without any trouble. I had a healthy diet, exercised regularly, didn’t have a weight problem and had no history of medical problems. When I talked to my doctor about it, he said “You’re a little bit on the thin side, so gaining a few pounds might help.” It took almost a year, but I finally got pregnant with my first child. I never thought my weight would make a difference, but I think gaining a few pounds helped. New research shows that having a high or low BMI can both affect your chances of getting pregnant and carrying a child to term.
One study of data from the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology found that as a woman’s BMI increased (outside of the healthy range), her chances of not becoming pregnant or failing to carry a pregnancy to term increased. "In the other study, researchers at Harvard University and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston examined the quality of eggs and embryos from women with different BMIs. Eggs from women with high and low BMIs were more likely than eggs from normal-weight women to produce immature oocytes during an assisted reproductive technology (ART) cycle, leading to a lower likelihood of successful embryo transfer and a lower live birth rate."
Although it took me a little longer than average to get pregnant with my first child, it was nothing compared to the struggles many women face. I have many friends who have been trying to get pregnant for years without success. A significant percentage of them have weight issues- whether they are underweight or overweight. Perhaps working towards the goal of a healthy BMI would improve their chances of success.
Interested in checking out more information on having a healthy pregnancy? BabyFit is SparkPeople's site to help with conception, pregnancy, and post-pregnancy issues.
What do you think? Have you had issues with fertility that were related (at least in part) to your weight?