Pregnancy and Weight loss
Do you find pregnancy a non event for you? Have you ever pondered if it could be to do with those extra kilos you’ve slowly come to develop? Researchers have now come to agree that it may be just that!
However, there is good news. Fertility is not affected permanently and weight loss of any amounts will contribute and proportionally increase your chances of conceiving no matter what weight you start at.
It might seem ‘dumb’ to lose weight before you get pregnant, only to gain weight while you are pregnant. The difference is the baby weight. When you’re pregnant, you are building new tissue for the baby’s body whereas when you’re overweight, all the excess weight is fat. That fat acts in negative ways.
The Disadvantages of Weighing Too Much
Excess weight takes a toll on your body in many ways. It stresses your knees, hips and back whenever you move. You could end up needing a hip or knee replacement from all this extra stress.
The extra pounds also affect your psychological state and self-esteem, and how other people treat you. Obesity may be expected to take a toll on your heart and blood vessels, thus decreasing your lifespan.
Obesity also affects your hormones in the following ways:
• Instead of the usual 15-20% chance of becoming pregnant every month when you’re at ideal body weight, your chance is significantly less if you’re obese.
• Obesity doesn’t allow your body to produce hormones needed to get pregnant. The excess fat begins storing and/or producing too much estrogen during your entire cycle. Estrogen levels should only be high at certain times during the cycle, not during the entire cycle. Thus, what ends up happening is that fertility comes to a halt because ovulation may not occur.
• When your levels of blood fats rise, the uterine lining won’t receive the circulation it needs. This also impacts pregnancy because the egg, if fertilized, could implant in the tubes instead of where it should in the uterus.
Weight Loss is The Only Answer
The bottom line is that the solution is always going to be weight loss. The decision you’ll make is how you will lose the weight. Some women choose bariatric surgery as the option that will work best for them. Others choose a personal trainer with a nutritionist, and still others choose to lose the weight on their own. Each one of these choices involves work on your part.
The best way to determine how much weight you should lose is to look at your BMI or Basal Metabolic Index. This is a number based on your height and weight. A BMI of 19-25 is considered great for getting pregnant while a BMI greater than 30 is considered obese and at high risk of not getting pregnant. Everything in between is overweight with variable effects on pregnancy.
Some research studies have shown that a 5% loss of weight can boost the chance of getting pregnant dramatically for both men and women.
That means if you weigh 250 pounds, 12.5 pounds may be enough to help you start collecting baby toys and special things for your new baby’s room. However, if you increase that number of pounds to 25, you will have a greater chance of conceiving.
Your first step is lowering the BMI to less than 30. This alone can make a big difference in getting pregnant. In one study, there was a decrease in success of pregnancy by 4% for every point over a BMI of 29. And remember, you only have a 15-20% chance if your BMI is in the ideal category.
If you’ve been considering weight loss via the bariatric surgery method, give us a call. We’ll set up an appointment and sit down with you to talk about it and see if you’re a good candidate for it. There are some people who should not have bariatric surgery, and we are very diligent about all the precautions.