How Does BMI Affect Fertility
Maintaining a healthy body mass index (BMI) is very helpful when it comes to achieving a pregnancy. Here are some facts to help put your BMI into context:
- Aiming for a normal body mass index (BMI, 18.5-24.9) is the best recommendation for your optimal health and provides the highest chance of a regular ovulatory menstrual cycle. Achieving a BMI between 18.5 and 40 is necessary before starting fertility treatment, and to avoid medical complications, it must be under 40 before starting an IVF cycle
- A higher BMI could be reflective of high muscle mass for those that work out regularly. Also important to note, BMI does not account for body fat distribution. The “apple” body type, where fat tends to accumulate in the abdomen, can put you at risk for metabolic problems even if your BMI is not very high
- Being under- or overweight can not only interfere with ovulation and fertility, but also increase the miscarriage rate
- Weight can be influenced by underlying genetics and family history, other conditions (particularly polycystic ovary syndrome, PCOS), diet and exercise. Lifestyle modifications can help to make significant improvements to get you closer to your ideal weight
- Medication may be indicated to help with weight loss, particularly for women with PCOS who also show signs of pre-diabetes
- Mental health, including anxiety, depression and stress, can certainly impact our weight. Contact our team at 212-756-5777 if you need help in dealing with these issues, or if you have a history of eating disorders, restrictive or binge eating
- For women who have a BMI over 40, or a BMI over 35 with signs of metabolic disease (pre-or type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure or heart disease), and do not experience positive results despite making lifestyle changes, bariatric surgery may be an option to decrease the weight and increase the chances of a healthy pregnancy. Please contact our team at 212-756-5777 for a referral to meet with a bariatric surgeon who can assist you in achieving your optimal weight through surgery.
RMA of New York staff is available to discuss how your diet, exercise, lifestyle and mental health all impact your fertility. Please contact us at 212-756-5777 to speak with one of our care specialists who can help you achieve your optimal health and well-being.
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