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BMI and Fertility

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Have you ever wondered what the connection is between BMI and Fertility? They are intertwined!!!

Obesity (higher than average (BMI) affects fertility in both women and men. The male and female reproductive systems rely on a delicate balance of hormones to function properly. When stress is placed on these systems as a result of a low or high body weight, their natural chemical rhythms begin to break down.

In particular, women who are obese have a higher rate of infertility and a lower IVF pregnancy rate. Obesity in men negatively impacts male fertility as it relates to sperm count and sperm motility (the rate at which sperm move).

Healthy lifestyle changes will not only help you conceive, but they will help you maintain a healthy pregnancy, and give you energy for raising a child. Not to mention- ensure that you will have a nice, long life to enjoy your children and grandchildren!

The #1 way to lower BMI and increase fertility

The number one recommendation for weight loss is to cut refined carbohydrates drastically! 
Some experts are suggesting that women who are TTC should limit carbs to one portion a day and cut out all white bread, pasta and breakfast cereal, since doing so greatly increases the chance of conceiving.


The recommendation to go low carb is based in part on a small 2013 study from the Delaware Institute for Reproductive Medicine (DIRM). The authors analyzed the diets of 120 women who were going through IVF. They found that women who got at least 25 percent of their diet from protein and no more than 40 percent from carbohydrates were four times more likely to get pregnant as women who had less protein and more carbs before and during IVF.

How does BMI affect fertility?

If you’re overweight or have a history of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), your body produces more androgen hormones (a.k.a., testosterone), which can lead to irregular periods or anovulation (where you don’t ovulate).


Women with PCOS produce more insulin. When you eat lots of carbs, your body has to produce even more insulin, which increases androgen production. And that decreases ovulation.


Healthy lifestyle changes will not only help you conceive, but they will help you maintain a healthy pregnancy, and give you energy for raising a child, plus ensure that you will have a nice, long life to enjoy your children and grandchildren! You are only 18, you have so much time left to make some healthy changes and plan for your family. 


Carrying a few extra pounds has a large effect on the fertility of both women and men. The male and female reproductive systems rely on a delicate balance of hormones to function properly, and when stress is placed on these systems as a result of a low or high body weight, their natural chemical rhythms begin to break down.

Harvard Medical School has made several recommendations – including;

Healthy foods to lower BMI and increase fertility

Plant-based foods, including whole fruits and vegetables.⁠

Seafood rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon, mackerel, and lake trout.⁠

Whole grains.⁠

Raw nuts.⁠

Legumes (beans, lentils, etc.).⁠

Extra virgin olive oil (monounsaturated fat).⁠

What should I avoid?

Simple or refined carbohydrates.⁠

Trans fats.⁠

Highly-processed foods.⁠

Alcohol (couples actively trying to get pregnant or undergoing fertility treatment should avoid drinking alcohol).⁠

Excessive caffeine intake (more than 500mg per day).⁠

If your BMI is above normal; diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes have been shown to make a significant difference in a woman’s fertility potential. Even small differences, just 5-10% of body weight can make a huge difference!