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IVF and Overweight Patients: Why BMI Matters

By HCRM on April 15, 2015


A woman beside a cribThe team at Heartland Center for Reproductive Medicine, PC knows that there are many different factors that can affect fertility. Sometimes medical issues that involve general wellness wind up being the cause of infertility.

The team at our Omaha in vitro fertilization (IVF) and advanced fertility treatment clinic would like to consider how weight and fertility are linked.

Weight and Fertility: How They Are Related

General wellness is often tied to good fertility. When a woman or a man suffers from a health problem of some kind, it's not uncommon for their fertility to be affected. Your fertility and your overall wellness are related, and since weight can have an impact on your general wellness, it should not be a surprise that excessive weight can lead to infertility or problems with fertility. In addition, people who are significant issues with their weight show an increased risk of experiencing problems during pregnancy and childbirth.

Why BMI Matters to Fertility

Body mass index (BMI) refers to a ratio of height and weight, providing general ranges for men and women. The ideal BMI for most people tends to be 18.5 to 25. Having a BMI a little over the ideal range means that a person is considered overweight (BMI roughly 25 to 30). When a person has BMI that is significantly higher than the ideal range, this means that they are obese (30 to 35) or morbidly obese (35+).

It should be noted that BMI can be somewhat flawed if used as a sole determinant for health and wellness since it only considers a height/weight ratio without accounting for body fat percentage. For instance, athletes who are in exceptional health may have a higher BMI than their ideal range given their muscle mass. These are generally rare cases, of course, since the majority of the public is not competing in sports at that level or exercising frequently in order to increase muscle mass.

Health Issues Associated with Obesity and Morbid Obesity

Both obesity and morbid obesity have been linked to major general health problems. These include:

  • Hypertension/high blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Sleep apnea
  • Gallstones

These can all have significant negative effects on your wellness and lead to issues with the health and wellness of your child.

Can I undergo IVF if I am obese or morbidly obese?

It is possible, though it's generally important for patients—male and female—to be in ideal health. This helps reduce the chances of major problems during treatment and also increases the chances of success from fertility treatment.

Losing Weight May Naturally Improve Your Fertility

With the above in mind, sometimes losing weight safely and naturally will lead to improved fertility. Simply being closer to an ideal weight range for your age, height, and gender helps reduce the chances of serious health problems, and it can help you conceive naturally. Doing this can also mean a problem-free pregnancy, reduced chances of complications in childbirth, and a healthy baby overall.

Discuss These Matters with Your General Practitioner and Fertility Specialist

If you are significantly overweight and would like to learn how you can lose weight and start the family that you have always wanted, be sure to meet with a medical specialist. You'll be able to receive professional advice on weight loss and wellness that will help you be healthier in general in the long run.

Schedule a Consultation at Our Fertility Treatment Center

For more information about your many options for advanced fertility treatment, be sure to contact our fertility specialists to schedule a consultation today. The team here at Heartland Center for Reproductive Medicine, PC looks forward to meeting you in person and helping you start the family of your dreams.

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Each and every staff member at Heartland Center is tremendous. Dr. Maclin is a woman of grace, and a terrific medical doctor. She is a world-class surgeon, and we are so grateful to know her.

Lene - IVF Patient

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