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Should I Lose Weight Before Trying to Conceive?

Should I Lose Weight Before Trying to Conceive?

You’re looking forward to building a family, and you want to do what you can to increase your chances of conception, not to mention a smooth pregnancy. Aside from quitting habits like smoking and drinking, you’re wondering whether the extra pounds you’re carrying may pose a problem. The answer depends upon a few factors, starting with the extent of the extra weight.

In this month’s blog post, Dr. Fernando Otero and the team here at Women’s Clinic of the Rio Grande Valley take a closer look at the effects that weight can have on fertility and pregnancy.

Obesity — a disruptor of female fertility

If your body mass index (BMI) is 30 or higher, you have obesity, which affects slightly more than 42% of adults in the United States. This extra weight can negatively impact your health in any number of ways, which includes your fertility.

One study, from which we borrowed the title of this section, explains that the risk of infertility is three times higher in women who have obesity than in women who don’t have the condition. 

Obesity can affect a woman's fertility in different ways. For example, obesity can lead to irregular menstruation cycles and ovulation. Or, the extra weight can place women more at risk for fertility-robbing conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome.

The ways that obesity can affect your ability to conceive are numerous and there’s little doubt that a connection exists.

Obesity and pregnancy

Now, let’s jump ahead to our concerns about obesity and pregnancy. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, having obesity can place you at risk for some serious health conditions during your pregnancy, including:

Each of these conditions turns your pregnancy into a high-risk pregnancy, which means there are concerns about both your health and the health of your unborn child.

Losing weight to increase your chances of success

The information we reviewed above is our way of saying that, if you have obesity, it's a very good idea to lose some weight before you embark on your family building. Not only will losing weight help improve your fertility, it will set you and your child up for a healthier pregnancy.

While we mainly discussed obesity here, perhaps your BMI falls into the overweight designation, just short of obesity. Even if you’re overweight, losing a few pounds is always a healthy choice. As well, if you have an underlying condition, such as hypertension or diabetes, it’s important that you keep your weight in check, especially if you’re trying to get pregnant.


We know that losing weight is far easier said than accomplished, but we’re here to help. If you’d like to sit down with us for some invaluable preconception counseling, please contact one of our offices in McAllen or Edinburg, Texas, to schedule an appointment.

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