Is There a Link Between Obesity and Infertility?
With so many more persons being overweight and out-and-out obese these days, many are wondering if there really is any truth to the rumor that obesity and infertility go hand-in-hand. How is it that being overweight can interfere with your reproductive abilities? How can a few extra pounds mean that much damage to your body? What about those that are obese that have been able to conceive? In order to examine these issues fully, let’s take a look at some of the suspected reasons that obesity and infertility seem to be related.
Reasons for Obesity
Regardless of what some people may assume, it’s generally accepted among the medical community that obesity does not just happen. Some would like to think that it’s all genetic, but many scientists know that when a person changes their eating habits and physical activity levels, they lose weight. So saying that obesity and infertility are two things that you can do nothing about is rather shortsighted – which also should be thought of as good news. If obesity and infertility were all a matter of genetics, then you would be trapped, with no choices or things you can do to fix the situation.
So, when studying the reasons for one’s obesity, we see the connection to infertility. High-fat diets add to elevated cholesterol levels in the body, and as we see cholesterol clinging to the arteries and areas around the heart, it does the same to the reproductive system. Cholesterol chokes out a man’s ability to produce healthy sperm and a woman’s ability to ovulate a healthy egg.
Additionally, another connection between obesity and infertility may have much to do with exercise and physical activity. Exercise gets the blood circulating properly and in a healthy way, and this oxygen-rich blood is necessary for all functions of the body, including the reproductive system. Without the antioxidants provided by blood that’s been freshly filtered through the lungs, any malformation or problems the body has is not going to be fixed or repaired the way it should be.
Extra Body Weight
Another connection between obesity and infertility seems to be the extra body weight itself. This extra weight on a man may block his sperm ducts, and blocked sperm ducts are one of the most common reasons for infertility in men. Additionally, a woman who has extra weight around her midsection may also have problems with ovulation, as this puts undue pressure on the fallopian tubes. It also puts this pressure on the uterus, causing it to contract unnaturally. When a woman’s uterus is compromised, a fertilized egg cannot attach itself, and she will miscarry it before she even knows she is pregnant.
So it seems as if there are some reasons to be concerned about the connection between obesity and infertility. Again, no one wants to be told that they need to lose weight, or to think that their own body weight may be interfering with their plans to have a baby, but at least they know that there is something they can do about the situation!