The Truth About Obesity And Infertility

The Facts About Obesity and Infertility.



Trying to conceiveWomen carrying 30% or more body fat are at a great risk of having obesity related infertility problems.

A US Women’s Health Study concluded that even a slightly elevated BMI (Body Mass Index – measurement of height compared to weight) at the age of 18 was a risk factor for anovulatory infertility, or infertility due to lack of ovulation.

When we hear about obesity and all its consequences most of what we hear relates to obesity related diabetes, cardiovascular and hypertension problems, but little about its effects on obese women’s ability to conceive.

The health dangers of escalating obesity in America is well documented in the medical literature,  and communicated to the public. (1,2,3)

Likewise, the link between obesity and infertility is well documented, but the fact is,  it’s  not all that publicized… the sad truth is that obesity can greatly reduce the ability of both men and women to conceive a child spontaneously- without medical intervention- (4)

Some factors associated with obesity related infertility:

  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.
  • Elevated BMI (Body Mass Index)

But, that’s only half of the story…

Obese women or women with a high BMI who are undergoing assisted fertilization have a lower success rate pregnancy, and the risks of infertility caused by obesity do not end at conception.

Obesity affects both the mother and baby after conception.

Other Risks Include:

  •  Higher incidence of hypertension
  • Miscarriage,
  • Gestational diabetes,
  • Infertility issues and obesity


  • Sleep apnea
  • Caesarean section births. (5)

Additionally, the babies are also more likely to need hospitalization beyond the normal post-natal hospital stay of the mother.

In an obesity and infertility study from Athens Greece reported in 2001 researchers found that women who have upper body obesity have insulin resistance, increased risk of peripheral aromatization (when hormones leach into the fat tissue and are not available for use by the body) and several other hormone related events that are thought to be an influence in the disrupted ovulatory process in obese women.  (6)

And, if you are obese AND smoke cigarettes, here’s why you should try quitting…

In an infertility and obesity study published in 2005 from Poland, researchers confirmed that factors contribute to infertility are obesity and cigarette smoking. (7)

Another infertility and obesity study performed in Kuwait and published in the Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics in 2004, researchers found that the most effective treatment for infertility in women who suffered from obesity was weight loss. This research was confirmed in 2006 by researchers from Italy and reported in Maturitas.

Here’s the good news…

These symptoms often resolve spontaneously after weight loss.  Sometimes with as little as a 15-20 pound weight loss, a woman will resume normal menstrual periods and ovulation.

The great thing about losing weight is that women will begin ovulating normally, so their chances of conception will increase tremendously.

Trouble is, many women who are desperate to ovulate embark on painful and futile journeys to lose weight fast.

When in reality the need for intervention for infertility caused by obesity is months BEFORE attempting to conceive.  Weight loss should be a slow and lifestyle change and NOT a desperate attempt to lose pounds to begin ovulating.

Better to be safe than sorry…why risk your new baby’s health or life?

Remember that the risks of obesity and infertility will carry on from conception to gestation and then to the birth process, leaving children of obese parents at risk for health issues for the remainder of their lives.

Learn more about how to build your own Fat Loss Plan: 

Lose Weight On Your Terms

Share Your Wight Loss Story


To Your Health!

Luz L

Sources for this article:

(1) USA Today: Rising Obesity will Cost US Health Care $344 Billion A Year

(2) Medical News Today: Obesity Healthcare Costs 147 Billion Dollars a Year, New Study

(3) ABC News: Almost 10 Percent of US Health Costs tied to Obesity

(4) Johns Hopkins Children Center: Johns Hopkins Researchers Unravel Unravel Clues to Infertility Among Obese Women

(5) March of Dimes: Overweight and Obesity During Pregnancy

(6) Obesity Reviews: The Influence of Obesity on hyperandrogenism  and infertility in the Female

(7) Ginekol Pol.: The Influence of Body Mass and Stimulants on Female Fertility


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