AvaWorld

Getting Pregnant

Pre-Pregnancy Weight

To begin your pre-pregnancy self-assessment, the first step is to determine whether you are at a healthy weight. Many women can become pregnant regardless of their weight, but women with a body mass index (BMI) that is either too high or too low could encounter some difficulties while trying to become pregnant.[1.Mayo Clinic Staff (2014, March 4). Pregnancy weight gain: What’s Healthy? Retrieved November 10, 2015, from http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/in-depth/pregnancy-weight-gain/art-20044360] A normal body mass index (BMI) is between 19 and 24. A BMI below 18.5 could lead to irregular menstrual cycles and in the worst case to anovulation, or lack of ovulation.[2.American Society for Reproductive Medicine. (2015). Fact Sheet: Weight and Fertility. Retrieved November 10, 2015, from https://www.asrm.org/uploadedFiles/ASRM_Content/Resources/Patient_Resources/Fact_Sheets_and_Info_BooklBoo/weightfertility.pdf] On the other hand, a BMI that is too high can lead to an overproduction of insulin, which may lead to a hormonal imbalance that could potentially disrupt regular egg development. [3.Mayo Clinic Staff, see above.] A study has found that on top of having difficulties becoming pregnant women with a high BMI are more likely to develop pathologies during pregnancy. The risks of a perinatal pregnancy is increases progressively from a low to a high maternal body weight.[4.Naeye, R.L. (1990). Maternal Body Weight and Pregnancy Outcome. Retrieved November 10, 2015, from http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/52/2/273.long] While you might still be able to get pregnant with a higher BMI, the higher it is the smaller are your chances of conceiving. Women who are severely obese (with BMIs ranging from 35-40), may be 23 – 43% less likely to conceive, in contrast with women who have a BMI of 29 or below.[5.Van der Steeg, J.W., Steures, P., Eijkemans, M.J.C., Habbema, J.D.F., Hompes, P.G.A, Burggraaff, J.M., Oosterhuis. G.J.E., Bossuyt, P.M.M., van der Veen, F., & Mol, B.W.J (2008). Obesity affects spontaneous pregnancy chances in subfertile, ovulatory women. Oxford Journals, 23 (2). Retrieved November 10, 2015, from http://humrep.oxfordjournals.org/content/23/2/324.full.pdf+html] If your BMI falls too far on either side of the spectrum (lower than 19 or higher than 24), consider evaluating your diet and eating habits to bring yourself closer into a safe range for conception.   [avafootnote]

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