Pregnancy Success and BMI

exerciseWeight impacts fertility for both men and women.  For both genders, being overweight can significantly reduce a person’s natural fertility. Being overweight can negatively impact hormone levels making ovulation and sperm production difficult.

Women who are far above or below ideal body weight are prone to ovulatory dysfunction and subfertility. Weight modulation in these women can enhance fertility. The status of body weight may be evaluated by Body Mass Index (BMI). Only body weight and height is needed for BMI calculation. Generally speaking, BMI is evaluated against the following scale:

  • A BMI of less than 18 is considered underweight
  • A BMI between 18 and 25 is considered normal weight
  • A BMI between 25 and 30 is considered overweight
  • A BMI over 30 is considered obese

According to a study of 22,317 patients using donor eggs, patients with a low to normal BMI had a higher pregnancy success rate compared to patients with a high BMI. The average BMI in this study was 18.5 to 24.9. Study shows that as your BMI increases, your pregnancy success rate decreases.

For patients who needs to lose weight before starting their fertility treatment, here is what Dr. Zhang recommends:

  • Eat about 1/3 less than your normal food intake
  • Exercise for 30 to 45 minutes each day for 4 to 5 days a week

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