Midwest Reproductive Center

Obesity and Infertility

Obesity and infertility are issues that men and women need to consider when trying to build their families

Obesity rates are increasing in the United States among men and women. Obesity is defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of 30.0 or higher. Obesity and infertility can go hand-in-hand, and fortunately, they are issues that you and your partner can control. Dr. Dan Gehlbach, our Kansas City fertility doctor, explains how obesity can cause infertility issues for both men and women.

Obesity and infertility together affect a woman’s reproductive capability

If a woman is obese, she is more likely to experience problems with menstruation. According to Obesity and Reproduction: an educational bulletin from the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, studies show that “…30 to 47% of overweight and obese women have irregular menses.” ¹

There are other problems associated with obesity and infertility for women.

  • Obese women, according to studies, require higher doses of fertility medication for ovarian stimulation during in vitro fertilization, or IVF.
  • Obesity is also associated with ovulatory dysfunction.
  • Women who are obese experience higher miscarriage rates.

Men can also experience fertility issues due to obesity

Obesity and infertility are also issues for men, and can make conception more difficult.

  • Some studies indicate that obesity can cause problems with sperm quality, including sperm count, motility and concentration.
  • Obese men are also more likely to experience problems with erectile dysfunction.
  • Being obese can also raise scrotal temperatures, which adversely affects fertility.

What can you and your partner do to fight this cause of infertility?

Ideally, you and your partner should attempt to achieve a BMI that is in the normal range (18.5 to ˂ 25) if you want to address obesity and infertility.

Of course, we don’t live in an ideal world, so our Kansas City fertility center team at Midwest Reproductive Center will work with you to establish a healthy diet and make lifestyle changes that may help you lose weight as you begin to work toward building your family. Even a small weight loss can be helpful in improving your fertility.

If you and your partner have concerns about obesity and infertility, please contact us.

¹http://www.asrm.org/uploadedFiles/ASRM_Content/News_and_Publications/Practice_Guidelines/Committee_Opinions/Obesity_and_reproduction-noprint.pdf

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