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Optimal Weight & Exercise

Are You At Your Optimal Weight For Fertility?

It is best to start pregnancy at a healthy weight for your height. If you want to gain or lose weight, do it before you conceive. A weight-loss diet during pregnancy deprives you and your baby of essential nutrients you both need.

Infertility treatment is less successful if the patient is obese. Some resources indicate that being obese can add up to ten years to your reproductive age. Some couples get pregnant just by losing weight, this way fertility treatments are avoided altogether. Infertility medication response can be lower in obese patients due to the fact that fat cells store hormones. Obese patients may be required to take higher doses of medication to achieve the desired result.

For obese women, the overall success rates for IVF do not match those of women with a normal body mass. If you are obese (BMI of 30 or higher) and are being prescribed IVF, you may have an improved chance for success if you reduce your weight before going through the procedure. There are anesthesia and surgical risks associated with obesity. If the ovaries are too high (pushed up by fatty tissue in the pelvis), or if ultrasound images are blurry or distorted by fatty tissue, we may not be able to safely get the needle into the follicles to get the eggs out.

Chelsea Fertility of New York City will not perform IVF procedures on women with a BMI of 40 or more. Being overweight is a health hazard for both you and your baby. Overweight pregnant women are prone to increased discomfort with pregnancy and have a greater chance of high blood pressure and diabetes during the pregnancy. Obese women are more likely to miscarry after IVF treatment. A women whose BMI is below normal (<18.5) also has a decreased chance of success with fertility treatments. Weight gain may be beneficial. Underweight women tend to have smaller babies that are more likely to have problems during labor and after birth.

Being overweight or obese may reduce a women’s fertility. When pregnancy is achieved, excessive weight increases risk associated with pregnancy. Weight loss may improve fertility and pregnancy outcome.

Are You Currently Exercising?

Starting or continuing a regular exercise program before you get pregnant helps prepare your body for the stresses of pregnancy and labor. The level of exercise you can do during pregnancy depends on your health and, in part, on how active you are before you become pregnant.

Most women who exercise before pregnancy can continue to do so during pregnancy. Select exercises that you enjoy and will enable you to meet your goals. If you are not accustomed to being active, you should begin an exercise program gradually. Walking is simple and safe; begin with 15 minutes a day and increase gradually. Always check with your physician before beginning an exercise regime.