November 13, 2021 by palani_balaji 0 Comments

Obesity & Infertility


Obesity is one of the most common and well-documented risk factors affecting fertility in both men and women. Weight plays a vital role in fertility. To get pregnant, the woman must neither be overweight or underweight. If she is close to a healthy weight, then the chances of getting pregnant and having a healthy baby are high. 

What is Obesity?

Obesity is a metabolic disorder where a person has an excessive accumulation of body fat. When the intake of calories is more and not burned through daily activities and exercise, the excess calories get stored in the body as fat. Excess weight is associated with many adverse health consequences. It has detrimental influences on reproductive health and negatively affects fertility. 

BMI (Body Mass Index) & pregnancy

A recent study has found that the higher a woman`s BMI (Body Mass Index), there are fewer chances of her getting pregnant. To calculate body fat, BMI uses height and weight. When the BMI (weight by height) is between 20 to 25, it indicates normal body weight, and chances of getting pregnant are easy. If the BMI is less than 19, then it is considered underweight. A BMI between 25 to 29 means you are overweight and greater than 30 means you are obese. With a BMI above 25, the chances of getting pregnant are low, and responding positively to fertility treatments is also lower. 

Hence, BMI must neither be too high nor too low, as it is associated with fewer chances of getting pregnant in women. Body mass affects fertility issues by causing menstrual disturbance and anovulation. One of the best things to improve fertility is to obtain a healthy normal weight. 

How does obesity affect my ability to get pregnant?

Many research studies report that women who are obese or overweight tend to have difficulty getting pregnant. There is a link between obesity, infertility, and excess insulin production – a medical condition called PCOS (Polycystic ovary syndrome). It is one of the reasons affecting fertility and causing obesity. Overweight and obesity affect fertility by: 

Preventing ovulation – Excess weight is linked to insulin resistance and decreased levels of proteins regulating hormones like androgen and estrogen. Fat cells in the body of obese women produce higher estrogen levels, which works against the body when it’s trying to ovulate.   

Obesity causes hormonal imbalances affecting the menstrual cycles and no egg is released by the ovaries. Thus, women with high BMI are unable to conceive because they don`t ovulate. 

Preventing fertility treatments from working – Studies show that obesity contributes to reduced response to fertility treatments. Obesity lowers the success rate for women undergoing fertility treatments, such as in-vitro fertilization (IVF) owing to poor oocytes quality, lower preimplantation rate, and uterine receptivity. 

As obesity lowers the chances of getting pregnant with fertility treatments, it is highly recommended for obese women to lose weight to improve their fertility functions.  

Impact of obesity affecting fertility treatment

Though fertility treatments may increase fertility, it is still less effective in cases of obese couples. Obese women have shown poorer outcomes to treatments like IVF (In vitro fertilization) where higher doses of medications are given to induce ovulation or stimulate the ovaries for IVF. When gonadotrophins are used for ovulation induction in obese women undergoing IVF, analysis confirms obesity impairs ovarian responsiveness to gonadotrophin stimulation. 

For women undergoing ART (Assisted Reproduction Technology), studies have linked obesity with negative ART outcomes where fewer oocytes are collected, fertilization rates are poorer, higher miscarriage rates, and reduced pregnancy rates. 

Weight loss to increase fertility

Weight loss in anovulatory obese women is extremely effective for the regularizing menstrual cycles, resumption of ovulation, improvement of spontaneous pregnancy rate, and reduction of miscarriage rate. 

Developing healthy habits of a balanced diet and regular exercise regimen can help in gradually losing weight. Going on crash diets has detrimental effects on health. 

Obesity and male infertility

In obese men, the fat cells convert a male hormone (androstenedione) into the female hormone estrone, which affects the metabolism of the part of the brain that regulates testicular function. Thus, this can impair fertility function in men. 

Obese men have low or no sperm counts that happen due to many reasons like: Elevated body temperatures, especially in parts like the scrotum. Hormonal imbalances result in higher estrogen levels, low testosterone levels, reduced spermatogenesis. These factors may favor infertility.

Obesity affects female infertility

In women, health conditions like PCOS (Polycystic ovary syndrome) are one of the common causes of infertility. Most women who have PCOS are affected by obesity which aggravates infertility through irregular menstrual cycles, affects ovulation and pregnancy rates. 

November 13, 2021 by palani_balaji 0 Comments


Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is the most common ovulatory or endocrine disorder affecting female fertility. It is a common health problem that affects 1 in 10 women of reproductive age. Women with PCOS have hormonal imbalances and metabolism problems that may affect their overall health and appearance. PCOS is a common cause of infertility. However, it is treatable.

How PCOS impacts Infertility?

PCOS is a hormonal condition where women do not ovulate regularly or release an egg each month and consequently have irregular or less frequent menstrual periods. Irregular periods can lead to infertility and the development of cysts in ovaries.

Women with this condition have bigger ovaries with multiple cysts containing immature eggs. These small cysts are not capable of growing to a size that would cause ovulation to happen. As a result, hormonal imbalances are caused.

In PCOS, the body produces higher than normal levels of androgens as well as insulin. High levels of androgens interfere with the development and regular release of eggs each month. If healthy eggs are not released, it affects fertility.

Who gets PCOS?

It is estimated that polycystic ovarian syndrome affects women of all races and ethnicities. The risk of getting PCOS may be higher if you have a family history of obesity. For most women, signs and symptoms of PCOS show up in their 20s and 30s, when they get menstrual irregularities or problems getting pregnant and see their doctor. However, PCOS can happen at any age after puberty.

Symptoms of PCOS

  • Irregular menstrual periods called oligomenorrhea 
  • Onset of excessive growth of facial and body hair (hirsutism)
  • Thinning hair on the scalp
  • Severe acne
  • Increased skin tags
  • Darkening of skin ( acanthosis nigricans) on the neck, groin or underneath the breasts
  • Weight gain or difficulty losing weight
  • Difficulty becoming pregnant

What are the treatment options for PCOS if I want to get pregnant?

  • Losing weight
  • There are medicines like Clomiphene citrate (Clomid) for PCOS.
  • IVF – In Vitro Fertilization
  • Surgery ( LOD),  a type of surgery called laparoscopic ovarian drilling

Can I still get pregnant if I have PCOS?

Yes, it`s possible in cases of PCOS patients who have a regular ovulatory menstrual cycle.  However, those with irregular menstrual cycles can get pregnant with fertility treatment.

We are here for you !!

Palani Balaji Fertility Center | Women Speciality Hospital

Chennai: 84/115, Velachery Road, Little Mount, Saidapet, Chennai – 600015

+91 44 2235 1010 +91 73737 65901

Madurai : 78, Surveyor Colony, Azhagar Koil Road, Madurai – 625007.

+91 452 2563134+91 9150912310

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October 7, 2021 by palani_balaji 0 Comments

Understanding Infertility

What is Infertility?

Infertility is defined as a condition where there is an absence of conception. When a couple faces failure to achieve pregnancy after a year of unprotected sexual intercourse, it is called infertility. It is a difficult reality for couples who are eager to have children.

What causes Infertility?

At some point in their life, couples will desire to conceive a child of their own. With normal fertility, most couples will conceive within a year.  Normal fertility involves a process that has many steps during ovulation and fertilization. To get pregnant, the male must have a sufficient number of healthy motile sperm. The female must have a healthy ovum or eggs from her ovaries. The fallopian tubes must be open for the safe passage of the sperms to fertilize with the egg and fertilized ovum must implant inside of the uterus. Infertility can happen to couples if there are problems with any of these stages.

The causes of reproductive inability in couples are attributed to a number of problems in both men and women.

In women, failure to ovulate is the leading cause of infertility. Other common causes that affect fertility in women are age, damaged or blocked fallopian tubes, irregular ovulatory cycles, endometriosis, fibroids, and polycystic ovarian syndrome.  

In men, infertility can be caused by blocked or absence of vas deferens, poor sperm production, failure of sperm production, abnormal sperm function, varicocele, hormone disorders, chromosome defects, anti-sperm antibodies, and birth defects.  

When should one seek medical help for infertility?

Couples should consult with a fertility specialist if they have had unprotected sex for 1 year without a successful pregnancy.

The single most important factor affecting a couple`s chances of conceiving is the woman`s age. That`s why it is recommended strongly for women to seek medical assistance at the earliest, if she are more than 30 years of age and if she had not conceived after 6 months of unprotected sex. Women under the age of 30 who are not getting pregnant after one year of trying should seek help.  

We are here for you !!

Palani Balaji Fertility Center | Women Speciality Hospital

Chennai : 84/115, Velachery Road, Little Mount, Saidapet, Chennai – 600015

+91 44 2235 1010 +91 73737 65901

Madurai : 78, Surveyor Colony, Azhagar Koil Road, Madurai – 625007.

+91 452 2563134+91 9150912310

Follow Us on Facebook