Q&A: Will I Have a Harder Time Getting Pregnant if I'm Overweight?

I am considerably overweight and am worried that my weight will affect my chances of getting pregnant. Could this happen?
Save article
ByDr. Nicole Browne
Fertility Specialist
Updated
Mar 2017
Hero Image

It depends on your particular circumstance. Overweight and obese women do tend to have irregular periods, and infertility seen in these cases is usually due to ovulatory dysfunction. These menstrual irregularities are thought to be due to disturbances of hypothalamic GnRH and pituitary gonadotropin secretion (i.e. FSH and LH production), and to the hyperinsulinemia associated with obesity. Hyperinsulinemia has been associated with increased circulating androgens that in turn prevents ovulation from occurring “follicular arrest”, and can effect egg quality. It can also put overweight and obese women at increased risk for pregnancy loss. Ovulation and pregnancy rates tend to improve significantly after even modest weight loss in obese anovulatory women, but it’s important to note that even a small reduction of body fat (by 5-10%) can have a significant impact on reproduction in overweight and obese women.

Related Video
Save article

8 Signs of Fertility to Look for Each Month

Temeka Zore, MD
OB-GYN and Infertility Specialist

10 Things to Avoid When Trying to Conceive

Temeka Zore, MD
OB-GYN and Infertility Specialist

Peanut App Launches TTC Platform to Help Women Find a Safe Community

Nehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
Published
11/18/2019

How to Get Pregnant Fast

Stacey Feintuch
Contributing Writer

How to Boost Your Fertility in Your 30s

Anna Davies
Contributing Writer

Men Should Go to Bed by This Time if They’re Trying to Conceive

Stephanie Grassullo
Associate Editor
Published
06/26/2019

Researchers May Have Found an Easy Way to Treat Endometriosis

Stephanie Grassullo
Associate Editor
Published
05/01/2019

Can Herbs Boost My Fertility?

Wayne S. Maxson, MD, medical director, reproductive endocrinologist, and founder, IVF Florida Reproductive Associates
Fertility Specialist
Article removed.