The topic of weight and fertility is a sensitive one: Years ago, I mentioned patient's concerns about fat phobic doctors in a newsletter on Weight & Fertility, in which I gave a quick description of how a woman's weight impacts her ability to get pregnant. Now, The Endocrine Society has made available a free, downloadable booklet with more information on the topic. Obesity, fertility, and contraception: Disparities Among Women 3 Perspectives covers the entire fertility spectrum, explaining how body weight is not just an issue for women trying to get pregnant. Those who are trying to avoid pregnancy are also at risk for weight-related contraceptive failures.
The booklet is complex and thorough, and offers the professional opinions of a basic researcher, a clinical practitioner perspective, and a clinical researcher. A few interesting points in the publication:
- Higher prevalence of obesity in African American and Latina women is an important factor in racial and ethnic disparities in reproductive outcomes.
- Obesity adversely alters egg quality, in addition to the endocrine system, and is associated with ovulatory dysfunction and higher risk of miscarriage.
- Donor egg recipients who are obese do not appear to have lowered IVF pregnancy rates.
- Hormonal contraception may fail more frequently in obese women.
Body weight is not merely a matter of fashion, and reproductive endocrinologists are specifically trained and experienced in applying the latest research-based knowledge to the related fertility needs of patients in the clinic.
The staff of Houston Fertility Center and I offer all fertility patients the opportunity to access helpful nutrition counseling, whether it is for weight-loss, maintenance, or weight-gain whatever is healthiest for their situation and will promote the greatest fertility treatment success.