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How Losing Weight Can Improve Your Chances of Getting Pregnant

Feb 1, 2024 | Pregnancy

Infertility can be disheartening for many couples trying to start a family. If you want to get pregnant but you can’t no matter how hard or how often you try or if you have trouble carrying a pregnancy to term, you could be among the roughly 26% of women aged 15-49 with some form of infertility.

Fortunately, modern medicine offers plenty of interventions to increase your chances of getting pregnant and carrying your baby to term.

But such interventions may not be necessary in your case. In fact, many women are able to increase their fertility by dedicating themselves to mindful lifestyle changes like smoking cessation and healthy eating.

Your weight is one of many metrics that can influence your fertility. Underweight or overweight, you’re statistically less likely to conceive and birth a healthy baby.

If you’re overweight or obese and struggling to get pregnant, our team of obstetricians and gynecologists at The Association for Women’s Health Care is here to assist you with weight management services. Simply visit our offices in The Loop in Chicago or Northbrook, Illinois, for personalized fertility testing and care.

When weight loss can help

Not everyone with unexplained infertility can benefit from losing weight when it comes to increasing their chances of getting pregnant. But being overweight can come with hormone imbalances that affect your fertility.

Losing weight can balance those hormones by reducing your blood sugar and improving insulin resistance, which is especially true for women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

We can evaluate your hormones using a simple blood test and determine whether you have an imbalance. We can also test you for PCOS if you’re not sure if you have the condition.

PCOS causes high levels of androgens, which are male hormones that women typically have in minimal amounts. If you have PCOS, you may not make enough of the hormones necessary for ovulation (the release of an egg from your ovaries), thus preventing you from getting pregnant.

Weight challenges and pregnancy complications

Being overweight or obese during pregnancy may not be good for your baby. While many overweight women complete healthy pregnancies, obesity and excessive weight are linked with several potential pregnancy complications.

By managing your weight before you get pregnant, you can reduce your risk of experiencing:

  • Miscarriage
  • Preeclampsia
  • Hypertension
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Stillbirth

You’re also more likely to need a C-section if you’re pregnant and have excess weight. Losing weight doesn’t just balance your hormones in preparation for pregnancy. It also lowers your blood pressure and blood sugar, and that can keep your baby healthy.

What you can do

We recognize that there’s no one-size-fits-all weight loss strategy, so we support your efforts to make healthy lifestyle changes. If having a baby is on your list of New Year’s resolutions for 2024, our team can support you with developing a healthy, balanced diet and getting regular exercise.

We can also treat any underlying disorders or conditions that might be contributing to your fertility problems including polyps, fibroids, or endometriosis.

Find out if weight loss can address your infertility today. Call us at The Association for Women’s Health Care to schedule an appointment at either office at your earliest convenience.