Overweight And Infertile - Special Issues

Among the many things that can cause fertility issues is a woman's weight. While this, in itself, is not normally the reason that she can't conceive, it is a contributing factor because of the consequences of being overweight.

If you are, indeed, overweight and trying to conceive, you aren't alone. One study pinpointed that approximately 50% of women between 25 and 55 are considered overweight in American alone. The main issue for women who are overweight is that they don't ovulate regularly. Overweight women have extra estrogen since fat cells produce estrogen.

More on Estrogen

Estrogen can work as a birth control in a woman's body, keeping her from getting pregnant. She may find that she doesn't ovulate, or that her ovulation is inadequate. These issues can certainly keep a woman from getting pregnant in a timely fashion.


There are other issues for overweight women, as well, that may keep them from getting pregnant. Overweight women have more issues with PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) and more chance of having a LPD (luteal phase defect). Both of these issues relate to ovulation and irregular cycles. If you are overweight and have had a difficult time conceiving, you should definitely have your doctor look into these issues. Both blood tests and ultrasounds can be used to discover whether these are the issues that are preventing you from conceiving.

Fertility Treatment for the Overweight?

There are no specific treatments that target or specifically help overweight women. Certainly, any doctor will test for POCS and LPD and will evaluate the regularity of your cycles. If a problem is discovered, it will be dealt with and treated in the same way that the issue would be treated for another person. Some doctors will certainly recommend that you try to lose weight - and they will even say that you need to lose weight before they will work with you. You have to decide for yourself if you are ready to take this step, or if working with a doctor who gives you an ultimatum will not, ultimately, work for you.

Being Prepared

Certainly, having fertility issues is very emotional. Being overweight is often a touchy, emotional subject as well. Through this process, you may need to be prepared for some rude doctors and some difficult questions asked of you. You have the right to work with someone who is open to your situation and is willing to help you. Make sure that you find the right doctor for your needs and that you are working with someone who will be optimistic and encouraging, not patronizing and critical.

While it certainly is a good idea for you to try to lose weight if you're overweight and infertile, you can still seek treatment if you remain heavy. You'll have the same battery of tests and exams that any other woman would have, and the same treatment plans, should an issue be discovered. Make sure, along the way, that you have a supportive partner, a great doctor and good friends to help you through this period. And hopefully, down the road, you'll be bouncing a beautiful, healthy baby on your lap!