Impact of Obesity on Infertility

April 11, 2018

Obesity has now become an epidemic and is prevailing more than ever before. If your Body Mass Index(BMI) is between 25 and 29.9, then you are considered overweight and if your BMI is over 30 then it is termed as Obese. When a person has accumulated so much body fat that it starts having an adverse effect on their health, this condition is called obesity. Obesity can happen for many different reasons. From intake of too many calories, sedentary lifestyle, obesity causing genes and even medications that cause weight gain, obesity can almost happen because of anything.


Whatever the case may be, obesity can hamper fertility in men as well as women. Many don’t know but obesity is directly connected to infertility and reproductive functions. Other than hurting your chances of becoming pregnant excess weight can have the following adverse effects on your body:

– Obesity affects hormones

Hormonal changes may occur once you cross the BMI of 30 and reach into the obese category. This change in your natural hormones can affect your chances of conception. As many may know, hormones play a very important role in the regulation and development of reproductive functions and the menstrual cycle in women. Obesity hampers the FSH and TSH levels which play an important role in maintaining reproductive health.

– Insulin resistance due to Obesity

When the cells of the body don’t respond properly to the insulin hormone, it called Insulin Resistance. Though it is possible to be insulin resistant without being overweight, being obese is closely related to obesity. Insulin resistance is an after effect of the hormonal imbalance that is caused by obesity. Other than being a major factor on the road to diabetes, insulin resistance also affects your fertility and can give you abnormal menstrual cycles. Anovulation is a condition in which your body does not produce eggs properly and this is caused by insulin resistance.

– Affects natural and treated pregnancies

No matter how you are trying to get pregnant, whether you are using natural means or a fertility treatment, obesity makes it challenging to conceive. All of this is lead by hormonal changes. If you are undergoing a treatment or trying to conceive naturally imbalance in hormones caused by weight gain can affect your efforts. As the obesity obstructs the blood flow to your ovaries, it affects your process of releasing eggs, this affects your menstrual cycles and this in line can hamper your chances of conceiving.

– Obesity affects men too

Though a lot of focus is kept on women in case of infertility due to obesity, being obese causes infertility in men as well. Obesity leads to a drop in the testosterone levels in men which may lead to infertility. Obesity also causes erectile dysfunction in many men which affects their chances of becoming a parent.


If you are fretting after reading the above effects, you don’t really need to worry. As you start losing weight, all of these effects of obesity start to decrease. Getting started with weight loss can be challenging but once you set out on this path, all these issues making you infertile start to fall in their place and you can start thinking of planning a family.

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