BMI and Fertility

High BMI Preventing Fertility Treatment?

Body Mass Index (BMI) is calculated by a person’s weight (in Kgs) divided by the square of their height (in metres). A high BMI can affect your hormone levels and thus have an adverse effect on your chances of conceiving. It can also restrict the types of fertility treatment available to you as it can affect surgical and anaesthetic procedures.

A high BMI sometimes needs to be analysed further because it relates to weight whereas actual risk is associated with raised body fat. The muscular, for example, could have a high BMI but be low risk. At Concept Fertility we review cases on a patient-by-patient basis and arrange a review by a Consultant Anaesthetist where appropriate.

PCOS and BMI

A common feature of PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) is weight gain. In PCOS the ovaries are generally bigger than average and have an abnormally large number of small follicles. These follicles remain immature, never growing to full development or ovulating to produce an egg capable of being fertilised. For the woman, this means that she rarely ovulates and so is less fertile. PCOS affects up to 10 per cent of all women between the ages of 15 and 50 and is particularly common among women with ovulation problems (an incidence of about 75 per cent).

Weight issues associated with PCOS also have to be managed in an effective way. 50-60% of PCOS sufferers are considered clinically obese and standard weight loss programmes may not be effective.

Lifestyle and BMI Affecting Fertility

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the fundamental cause of obesity and being overweight is an energy imbalance between calories consumed and calories expended. Globally, there has been: an increased intake of energy-dense foods that are high in fat; an increase in physical inactivity due to the increasingly sedentary nature of many forms of work; changing modes of transportation; and increasing urbanisation.

We are aware that there may be complex emotional factors concerning your BMI, such as stress and comfort eating that need to be discussed whilst you begin your journey towards parenthood. At Concept we are happy to discuss how we can help and support you to reduce your BMI, whilst treating your fertility straight away where possible. We believe in an holistic approach and work in tandem with independent Wellbeing practitioners specialising in fertility, who can help with nutritional therapy, psychotherapy, yoga, acupuncture and general gym fitness.