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"What is the effect of marginal obesity (BMI of 31) on fertility?"

ZocdocAnswersWhat is the effect of marginal obesity (BMI of 31) on fertility?


I presently have a BMI just over 31 (5'4" and 183 lbs). I gained about 25 lbs in the past year (my final year of law school and during my divorce), which I am now losing slowly through a nutritious and low-cal diet and exercise. I'm a 26 and otherwise healthy. My partner and I have been trying to get pregnant (unsuccessfully) for 5 months. I've had a general/pelvic exam and everything is in order, and he has a healthy sperm count/quality. As far as I can tell, I have been ovulating regularly. I know it often takes longer than we've been trying to get pregnant, but I also know that obesity can affect fertility. The studies I've seen discussed the effect of obesity at a BMI of 35 and higher; I haven't seen anything regarding the effect of obesity on someone like me who is marginally obese. Should I be worried about the effect of my BMI on our ability to get pregnant? Could the fact that I gained the weight fairly quickly (25 lbs in a year) be a factor? Thanks!


All of these are good questions to be asking, but there is much more that goes into becoming pregnant than just your size. For this reason, if you are thinking about becoming pregnant it would be good to meet with an OB/GYN or your primary care doctor to see what you can do to best prepare both yourself and your body. Obviously, having a baby is a big deal that will lead to many changes. By making sure that you are in your ideal state you will have the best chance at a successful pregnancy and a healthy baby. Dietary changes, nutrition supplements, avoidance of drugs and other social habits can all be an important part of the process before seeking to become pregnant, and getting the correct council early on can be vital. With specific focus on your question, you are correct that most of the literature on obesity and pregnancy focuses on people that are more obese than yourself. That being said, people that are too thin can also have problems, and so it is important to be at your ideal weight. Certainly the fluctuations in your weight could play some role as well, but the key is that you are still very early in trying to become pregnant. Please speak to your doctor for appropriate guidance.

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