Obesity is defined by an extraordinarily high Body Mass Index (BMI) in which the index is a reflection of body fat content. Around 1 in 4 women are at least overweight as per surveys and studies. The rates are higher among women facing problems of conception.
Along with several other sexual health problems caused by obesity, infertility is an important one leading to the disturbing trend of need for and failure of assisted reproductive techniques for conception.
Impact Of Obesity On Male Fertility
Recent data has shown that male obesity also impairs offspring metabolic and reproductive health suggesting that paternal health cues are transmitted to the next generation with the mediator mostly likely occurring via the sperm.
Obesity And Anovulation
Studies show that in obese women with anovulation, the underlying cause is most likely due to polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). PCOS is associated with obesity or overweight along with symptoms of high male hormone secretion such as hairiness, acne, high cholesterol level and insulin resistance.
Obesity And Miscarriage
• Poor quality of eggs or ovum
• Defective implantation or reception of the fertilized egg onto the womb mainly due to insulin resistance
• Defective and altered levels of hormones that help in sustaining pregnancy
Obesity And Hormones
In obese women there is increase in androgen metabolism and elevated estrogen levels. Obese men show low estrogen and low testosterone levels as well.
The relationship between obesity and reproductive functions is still being explored. Overweight women have a higher incidence of menstrual dysfunction and anovulation. Overweight and obese women are at a high risk for reproductive health. The risk of sub fecundity and infertility, conception rates, miscarriage rates, and pregnancy complications are increased in these women.