To give yourself the best chance of achieving your dream of starting a family, running a quick lifestyle audit and being honest with yourself about various habits is one way to a potential quick win.
It’s not news that any of us really want to hear but the reality is that an unhealthy weight – in either partner – can have a significant impact on the ability to get pregnant. Obesity can cause problems from conception right through to delivery and beyond. Being overweight or obese not only reduces the chance of conceiving naturally, but also means fertility treatment, such as IVF, is less likely to be successful.
The main effect of weight – either too low or too high - on fertility in women is failure to ovulate. In men, obesity can lower sperm counts by up to 50%. Overweight men are also more likely to suffer erectile dysfunction and have a higher rate of DNA fragmentation in sperm.
Now for the good news and why we say this could be a quick win in solving your fertility puzzle. Fertility is improved with a relatively modest degree of weight loss or gain. Around 90% of obese women will resume ovulation if they lose less than 5% of their body weight.
But we’re not done yet. There are a few other lifestyle factors which could be playing the role of baby-making meddler in your life.
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Yes, an unhealthy weight (too high or too low) in both men and women can affect fertility whether you are trying naturally or through assisted conception.
It’s recommended that couples aim for a BMI of less than 30 before trying to conceive.
Stress can affect ovulation. Consider any strategies that reduce anxiety and help you remain positive.
excessive exercise can have an impact on hormone levels.