Bulimia and Getting Pregnant?

Can bulimia affect my chances of getting pregnant?
profile picture of Samuel Wood, MD
BySamuel Wood, MD
Reproductive Endocrinologist
Updated
Mar 2017
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Any kind of eating disorder can not only have an effect on your ability to get pregnant, but can also compromise the safety of your pregnancy if you are able to conceive. About half of all women who struggle with bulimia (and almost all who have anorexia) stop getting their periods. That’s because menstruation is affected by calorie intake, excessive exercise and even stress. And if you’re not getting your period, it’s a pretty big challenge to become pregnant.

It’s also important to consider the health of you and your child during pregnancy. Often women who are bulimic will put on excess weight while they’re pregnant, which can increase your risk of  hypertension and gestational diabetes. And if you’re taking medications like laxatives or diuretics to control your weight, they can have a negative impact on the health of your developing baby. Other potential complications include premature labor, low birth weight, delayed fetal growth,  miscarriage and respiratory problems in baby.

That’s why, if you suffer from bulimia, it’s important to get help from a therapist before you start trying to have a baby, and continue to seek out support during the pregnancy. You’ll be getting yourself — and your future baby — in a healthier, happier place.

Plus, more from The Bump:

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