How does being overweight affect fertility?

what is Obesity?Obesity, in simpler terms well-understood as overweight, is a common term, heard everywhere these days. It has become a global endemic or a wide-ranging problem, so to say and millions around the world continue to face the challenges that obesity continues to throw at them.

While it does affect both men and women, it is increasingly seen that women of reproductive age face more challenges. Studies conducted in the recent past in the United States of America reveal that about 23% of women of reproductive age face the consequences of being obese. And the most widely noticed consequence is related to female infertility. According to a WHO estimate, the overall prevalence of primary infertility in India is between 3.9 to 16.8%. However, the prevalence of infertility in India varies from state to state such as from 3.7 % in Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Maharashtra to 5%, down South in Andhra Pradesh and 15%, up North again in Kashmir. The prevalence also varies in the same region across castes and tribes.

How does being overweight affect fertility?Before we get into how obesity affects fertility, it would benefit readers to know a bit about what overweight actually is. From a lay man’s perspective, it is referred to excess body weight; more than what is permissible, for an individual at his age. Though we understand Obesity and Overweight to be almost the same, there is a very slight difference, which actually separates them and that is seen through the difference in BMI or Body Mass Index Values.

World Health Organization (WHO), says that if the BMI equals to or is greater than 25 kg/m2, it is considered overweight, whereas if the BMI equals to or is greater than 30 kg/m2, it is considered obesity. BMI is calculated by using the height and weight of an individual. Obesity, though generally being a known risk factor for common problems like hypertension, diabetes, heart ailments, and arthritis, is a common cause for affecting fertility, largely in women.

How obesity affects fertility in women?

How obesity affects fertility in women is better seen when women complain about menstrual disorders, infertility, miscarriage, and unexpected pregnancy outcomes. This can impair reproductive function. Studies have also concluded that the risk of infertility is three times higher in an obese woman than a non-obese woman. However, it is not just women who suffer the consequences. Men who are overweight also face challenging issues due to low sperm count which happens as a result of hormonal and other metabolic imbalance.

As we have been talking about overweight and obesity, many of us would want to know does being underweight affects fertility too. The answer is yes as being underweight could lead to miscarriage and premature birth.

While there is a solution to every problem, it all goes down to visit the right place which has the right service and this is where NU Hospitals, a state of the art fertility center in Bangalore, India scores by treating Infertility with IVF Treatment. It is sure to excite us to know more about what IVF treatment is all about and how it addresses female and male infertility issues.

Best Hospital for IVF Treatment

In-Vitro Fertilization or just IVF as it is widely known as has caught global attention, especially in the case of women who are obese and face fertility issues. Though healthy lifestyle changes are also being suggested by doctors to address infertility, it is the IVF treatment, which has become a preferred choice for most of the women who want to overcome pregnancy-related issues.

IVF is a series of procedures, aimed at helping solve fertility issues and genetic problems. IVF fertility treatment is seen as the most effective type of assisted reproductive technology (ART). ‘Eggs and Sperms are used to create embryos’.

BMI for IVF treatment

The BMI or Body Mass Index during pregnancy holds immense value, especially for women who are obese. Usually, the desired BMI readings, for a healthy person, range from 18.5 to 25. Most fertility clinics have a strict requirement of BMI for patients requiring IVF treatment. Anything below 30 is considered good enough.

However, studies indicate that about 20% of women have a BMI above 30 during the beginning of their pregnancy, which is a sure cause for concern. The risks associated with high BMI can be minimized by consuming a healthy diet, increased dosage of Vitamin D supplements and exercises.

It is due to a clinically driven procedure and support of the latest technology that the NU fertility centre has come out as a preferred centre for women and men in need of IVF treatment. Rated as the best IVF care centre in Bengaluru, our IVF specialists and Andrologists set high standards in commitment and smooth execution of the process, right from the initial stage which includes patient counseling, patient preparation, and execution of the treatment procedures and after treatment care support. IVF specialists at NU fertility centre are professional, friendly and courteous and make every conversation count.


Studies have proved the impact of obesity and its risk associated with female and male infertility. IVF treatment has rekindled hopes amongst women that they can now look forward to having a family, even if they are overweight. In addition to this, Interventions including weight loss, physical activity, dietary modification, and bariatric surgery, hold a lot of promise for obese patients, wishing to conceive. However, more translational work is required to analyze the interplay between obesity and reproduction, with the goal of building healthy families.

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