An everyday instrument may help steer many couples struggling with infertility in the right direction, rather than any popular advice – the weighing scale! That is correct. Obesity could be the real reason for many couple’s infertility problems. In both men and women, obesity severely damages fertility.
In women, obesity may cause irregular menstrual cycles , PCOS (Poly-Cystic Ovarian Syndrome), or the way a woman’s body stores sex hormones. Any of these three conditions may cause infertility. To make it worse, many women with obesity may be suffering from more than one of these conditions together.
If a woman with obesity tries to conceive without resolving the weight issue, she may expose herself and the baby to three more pregnancy risks caused by obesity: miscarriage , gestational diabetes and gestational blood pressure . That’s not all. The increased risk of birth defects such as congenital heart disease and host of other serious anomalies in the babies are linked to the mother’s obesity.
In men, a review of 14 studies found that 51% of men with obesity are more likely to have either no or very low sperms in their ejaculate .
Is there a dependable and lasting escape from the obesity trap? Yes, and understanding obesity could be the first important step.
Defining Obesity :
Obesity is not defined by your weight alone. It is calculated by a unit called the Body Mass Index (BMI), that measures your weight in relation to your height to determine obesity and its severity.
World Health Organization (WHO) considers a BMI more than 30 as Class 1 obesity. BMI above 35 is Class II i.e., serious obesity, and BMI above 40 is Class III i.e., severe obesity.
Obesity is not a cosmetic condition. It’s a complex, chronic disease that requires medical attention as declared by the American Medical Association (AMA) in 2013, as a result of three decades of research and developments .
How to treat obesity?
Will dieting work?
The restrictive diets don’t reduce obesity and majority of the people who diet regain the lost weight plus more according to several research findings.
What about exercise?
A review of several studies reported that clinically significant weight loss is unlikely to occur. Exercise programs actually play a role in weight regain after initial weight loss. Overall, aerobic exercise programs consistent with public health recommendations may promote up to modest weight loss (~2 kg).
Then what is the solution?
If you have tried lifestyle modifications, diet, exercise etc., and not losing much weight or unable to keep off the lost weight for long time, consulting a qualified obesity expert might be an option for you. Minimally invasive bariatric weight-loss surgery might be an option if your BMI is above 32.5 with type 2 Diabetes or any other obesity related co-morbidity; or if your BMI is more than 37.5 without any co-morbidity .
A review of 18 studies published in April 2020 reported that bariatric surgery significantly improved hormonal balance and sexual functions in both males and females, sperm count in males, and pregnancy in females.
Another study revealed that 62.72% infertile women with obesity succeeded in conceiving after bariatric surgery.
Nowadays due to Covid-19, many Doctors offer online consultations. One could book an appointment at a center of one’s choice, and discuss the obesity issues with the expert doctor from the convenience of one’s home.
Don’t be a victim of obesity or its stigma. Obesity induced infertility can be treated with lasting results. The time to act against it is NOW!
Disclaimer: This article is sponsored by J&J in public interest. The views and opinions expressed in the article by participating doctors are based on their independent professional judgement. J&J (P) Ltd., BCCL and its group publications disclaim any liability for the accuracy or consequences flowing from adherence to their expert views.
Source: Hindustan Times