Why Your Weight Matters When You’re Trying to Conceive
One often underestimated aspect that plays a crucial role in fertility is body weight. The interplay between weight and fertility is a complex dance of hormones, metabolism, and overall well-being that demands careful consideration.
In this article, we delve into the intricate relationship between weight and conception, exploring how maintaining a healthy weight can enhance fertility prospects. Additionally, we’ll navigate the Chinese medicine treatment options, an ancient therapeutic system that offers unique insights and time-tested remedies to optimise fertility for centuries.
A normal body mass index (BMI) is considered to be between 18.5 to 24.9. A person with a BMI of over 25 is classified as overweight, and obese when they have a BMI over 30. As with so many things healthy weight can maximise your chances of getting pregnant and increase fertility. Women with a BMI of 35 to 40 had a 23% to 43% less chance of achieving pregnancy when compared to women with a BMI below 29.
What is the ideal fertility BMI ?
If you are trying to conceive, the recommended BMI for fertility is between 18.5 to 24.9.
- Ideal BMI to get pregnant: 18.5 ~ 24.9
- Being overweight to get pregnant: BMI>24.9
- Being underweight to get pregnant: BMI<18.5
As with so many things healthy weight can maximise your chances of getting pregnant and increase fertility. Studies have shown women with a BMI of 35 to 40 had a 23% to 43% less chance of achieving pregnancy when compared to women with a BMI below 29.
How Does Weight Impact Hormone Imbalance & Fertility
Weight plays a pivotal role in hormonal balance, and any disruption in hormonal balance can significantly impact fertility. The intricate connection between weight, hormones, and fertility, when disrupted, can create challenges for those trying to conceive. Sometimes hormonal imbalances are the cause of weight gain and it is important that you receive the treatment that you need to rectify any underlying conditions that you may have and not just the weight. Here’s a closer look at how weight influences hormone imbalance and fertility:
• Estrogen Production: An excess or deficiency of body fat can lead to imbalances in estrogen levels, disrupting the menstrual cycle, ovulation and in turn fertility.
• Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS): Weight gain, especially around the abdominal area, is linked to insulin resistance. Insulin resistance, a common factor in overweight individuals, is associated with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). PCOS disrupts hormonal balance, causing irregular menstrual cycles, anovulation (lack of ovulation), and fertility.
• Inflammation: Excess body weight is associated with chronic inflammation. Inflammation can disrupt hormone production and signaling, affecting the ovarian cycle and fertility.
• Thyroid Function: Weight fluctuations, especially in the context of obesity can influence thyroid function. Thyroid hormones play a crucial role in metabolism and, consequently, affect reproductive function. Thyroid disorders can lead to irregular ovulation and fertility challenges.
Impact of Being Overweight On Fertility According To Chinese Medicine
The relationship between obesity and reproductive function has been known for many years. Being overweight has a negative impact on our reproductive ability. Overweight women are at a greater risk of suffering irregular menstrual cycles, impaired ovulation and suffering miscarriage.
Those women trying to conceive via assisted reproduction technology such as IVF or ICSI will also have less chance of it working. One theory is that being overweight may impair reproductive function by affecting the ovaries, endometrium and hormone levels.
Traditional Chinese medicine views being overweight as the result of three main factors:
- Excess Dampness
- Kidney Yang Deficiency
- Liver Qi stagnation
Excess Dampness: Excessive weight, especially when associated with poor diet and lifestyle, can lead to the accumulation of Dampness and Phlegm in the body. This accumulation may obstruct the flow of Qi and blood, impacting the reproductive organs and hormonal balance.
Liver Qi Stagnation weight gain. When we are under emotional stress our Liver can become compromised and fail to regulate the correct flow of our energy – Qi. This stagnation can disrupt the free flow of Qi, affecting hormonal balance and reproductive health.
Kidney Yang is deficiency: In TCM, Kidneys are the fundamental root of all Yin and Yang. Yang is the warmth and the energy that keep the metabolism active. When Kidney Yang is deficient, fluids do not move effectively and fluid retention may occur. Our whole metabolism slows down as a result and makes it difficult to shift stubborn weight. Excessive weight may lead to an imbalance in the Kidney system, affecting the Essence and potentially causing disruptions in the menstrual cycle and reproductive function.
Impact of being underweight on fertility
Being underweight is classified as having a BMI under 18.5. This can reduce a woman’s fertility by causing hormone imbalances that affect ovulation and diminish her chances of getting pregnant and increase her risk of miscarriage. Being underweight also affects a woman’s menstrual cycle – hormone levels are affected by weight. Being underweight can also disrupt hormones, making it hard to get the nutrients you need, it may interrupt the ovaries function of releasing eggs, also cause periods problems too.
Can being underweight cause infertility ?
Underweight hormone imbalance
And being just 10% underweight negatively affects your hormones. Compared to women in the healthy weight range, women who are underweight are more likely to take more than a year to get pregnant. If you are underweight your body may go into survival mode. This results in your body producing less oestrogen. The danger of being underweight is often insufficient levels of oestrogen, which will make your body unable to build a follicle and may cease to ovulate regularly.
Underweight and Yin Deficiency
According to TCM theories being underweight is attributed to Yin Deficiency. People who are Yin Deficient will often have symptoms such as insomnia, scant periods, and reduced cervical fluids. To rectify this and to boost levels of Yin underweight patients will benefit from increasing their consumption of healthy fats found in foods such as olive oil, avocados, oily fish such as mackerel and flax seeds.
You may also benefit from drinking smoothies made with honey and banana. It is so important that you try to reach your ideal weight – every aspect of your health will heave a sigh of relief and you are far more likely to reach your pregnancy goals.
Let’s talk about men
The health and wellbeing of a potential father is just as important as that of a mother to be. It is vital that he lives a healthy lifestyle and reaches a healthy weight range in the months leading up to conception. When he is overweight a man’s sperm count is more likely to be reduced and the sperm that is produced has poorer motility – it is not able to move as much. This means that it is much less able to reach the egg. Another study demonstrated that ejaculate volume and sperm count decreased as BMI and weight circumference went up. A large scale Danish study demonstrated that as BMI went up semen quality and reproductive ability decreased. Obviously if he smokes he needs to stop. Smoking severely damages sperm.
GinSen can help you achieve healthy weight to get pregnant
We have decades of experience in helping people to both manage their weight and finally, reach a normal weight to get pregnant. Here are some of our suggestions to help you along the way.
Acupuncture for weight loss
Studies have found that acupuncture helps with weight loss.
Acupuncture is a gentle and natural treatment that works to stimulate the flow of energy as it moves around your body. By using sterile single use needles we are able to move stuck energy and to stimulate various organs that might need a bit of encouragement. By doing this, not only will you feel more energised and relaxed, but you will also notice that you will feel more inclined to move more and to eat more healthily. Every small positive change to your diet and exercise regime will help. These changes, together with the acupuncture treatment and kindly encouragement from your acupuncturist will help you to reach your target weight.
Chinese Herbal Treatments
It’s an excellent way to help you on your weight loss journey. Many of our supplements are ideal to use in the three months prior to conceiving as they also gently prepare your body for pregnancy.
Recommended Supplement For Healthy Weight To Conceive
Hormone Imbalance & Weight Loss Kit by GinSen are natural weight loss supplements.They have a gently balancing effect on your hormones whilst acting as a natural fat burner. These natural supplements have been formulated on the principles of Chinese medicine and work by dealing with the root cause of the problem.
Our Orient Weight Management supplements work by gently suppressing your appetite. This natural herbal remedy promotes feelings of fullness and reduces cravings and urges to overeat. They also boost your metabolism and increase energy levels.
Slim Detox Tea is a 100% natural weight loss tea. It sorts out indigestion, constipation and gas by gently detoxing the colon system. Try this after eating and you will notice the difference immediately. This tea also acts as a metabolism booster to help you lose weight naturally.
For more information about how GinSen can help you to reach your weight loss goals and maximise your fertility please book your free consultation today
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. We can’t guarantee the treatment result, as the symptoms of conditions are unpredictable and vary greatly from person to person. The treatment length and recovery time also varies for individual. Please visit our clinics website: GinSen where a specialists will discuss your care and provide a consultation, and the treatment will be designed to meet your individual needs.