Every day I see patients who are experiencing infertility that is caused or exacerbated by excess body fat. And I am often asked why being overweight matters and why a patient should try to lose weight before trying to get pregnant or undergo a fertility treatment such as in vitro fertilization (IVF).
Here’s why: There are several adverse effects associated with excess body fat that inhibit conception and a healthy pregnancy.
- Overweight women often have hormonal imbalances and abnormal endocrine function, which results in a disruption of regular ovulation. Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is one specific type of endocrine condition that is generally associated with obesity.
- Insulin resistance (a condition that can develop into type 2 diabetes) is a common problem for overweight or PCOS patients and further interferes with ovulation.