Does weight affect fertility? There is so much information available around this topic but it becomes a very personal question when you are considering is your weight affecting your fertility.
Let me tell you my story. I didn’t have any reason to think that having a baby would be a difficult process for me. I had regular periods and was considered healthy. When I mentioned to my OBGYN at my annual exam that I wanted to get pregnant in the next year, she didn’t have any concerns and gave me the good-luck green light to go ahead.
Months of trying to conceive turned into years of trying, still with no success and I was starting to get really discouraged. My husband and I started to pursue fertility treatment but none of those attempts turned into a viable pregnancy. We were baffled. What was wrong?
We had every test done you could imagine and none of them offered significant information about why we couldn’t get pregnant. But in the back of my mind, I wondered what was throwing off the balance of hormones in my body. Could it be my weight?
I was not overweight but on the high end of the normal range for my BMI. It was worth questioning and thinking about losing some of the extra pounds to see if that would help my hormones balance. I wasn’t interested in going on a diet to drop the weight quickly. If my weight was the issue, a diet wasn’t going to solve it. Diets aren’t a permanent solution to addressing health concerns. I wanted to know how to get my body into a healthy state permanently for pregnancy and beyond.
I wanted to lose the extra weight in a mindful, healthy way and never put it back on again. I also wanted to not feel so emotionally beat up by the infertility process, which was taking a toll on me with every month that clicked by.
I shuffled through a list of professionals trying their approaches until I found a life coach and everything clicked. Working with her I made huge changes in the way I eat and deal with stressful life events, like infertility. Through that work, the extra weight came off so gently and easily. It wasn’t until after doing the work that I realized my natural weight was 30 pounds lighter!
After that, the next time we went through fertility treatment we successfully conceived our son. I had an amazingly beautiful and healthy pregnancy with him. Because of the work I did with my coach I was so much more aware of my body and how it responded to what I ate. My relationship with food changed dramatically and I navigated the challenges of pregnancy with the tools I had learned from her.
One of the biggest misconceptions is that you have to be overweight to have your size impact your fertility. This is not true! I know from first-hand experience. I was never considered overweight or obese and yet those extra 30 pounds had a huge impact on my fertility. When you improperly fuel your body you become vulnerable to all kinds of health problems. For me, a lifetime of eating flour and sugar and an undetected intolerance to synthetic folic acid were at the root of my infertility issues. It wasn’t until I started questioning everything I was doing that I even entertained the idea of the food I put into my body being part of my fertility woes.
The bottom line, you know your weight is affecting your fertility if you think it is. No one else, no doctor, friend, sister, or mother-in-law, knows your body better than you. You get to decide if your weight is an issue in your pursuit of having a baby. If it is, go ahead and make changes. If it isn’t, continue on with what you are doing. You could get pregnant tomorrow, or you could get pregnant after you lose 30 pounds. You don’t know what will happen, but which scenario would you feel better about?
I help women of all sizes get into the bodies they want before motherhood. To get on the right track, download the Infertility Mental Health Checklist now to get started.