Underweight Patients and Issues with In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) By Sonja Kristiansen, MD on March 16, 2015

A couple together in a gardenDr. Sonja Kristiansen is committed to helping men and women in the greater Houston area start the family that they have always wanted. This can be achieved through a variety of fertility treatments. One of the most well known and popular procedures is in vitro fertilization (IVF), which is ideal for treating male and female infertility.

One issue that can affect fertility, particularly female infertility, is weight. With this in mind, let's consider how being notably underweight can make becoming pregnant more difficult.

Body Mass Index (BMI) Can Affect Fertility

A number of studies have found that issues with a woman's weight can affect her fertility success. In some cases, the issues with excessive weight or being underweight can lead to infertility or greater difficulty conceiving naturally.

There are plenty of other issues that are wrapped up in weight and fertility, and in some cases your BMI is not the single best measure of general health. For example, very muscular or athletic women may be considered overweight by BMI alone even though they are in great physical condition according to other measures of health/wellness. These instances tend to be rare, of coruse, and for the general public, significant deviations from the norm of your BMI may be the sign of a health issue.

Being Underweight Can Lead to Fertility Issues

When a woman is significantly underweight, it can have an impact on her overall fertility and ability to become pregnant. This is particularly worth nothing since estrogen tends to be stored in a woman's body fat. Low weight can lead to hormonal imbalances that affect a woman's cycle, poor egg health, delayed or improper egg release, and poor overall health of her reproductive system.

Some studies estimate that 12% of infertility cases are the result of women being significantly underweight. Keep in mind that some women are naturally underweight and this issue per se may not have a bearing on your fertility.

Improving Your Diet and Lifestyle Can Improve Fertility Health

If being underweight has an affect on your fertility, it might be possible to improve your chances of conception by gaining weight in a healthy manner. It's important that patients speak with their general practitioner, fertility specialist, and dietician so that these matters can be addressed in a way that takes into account any unique health needs.

Should underweight women consider in vitro fertilization (IVF)?


In vitro fertilization (IVF) can potentially help women who experience infertility that is the result of a number of different factors. By visiting with a fertility specialist, the exact cause of your infertility can be determined and then addressed accordingly.

Tailoring Treatment to the Needs of the Patient

Improving diet and daily physical activity combined with customized fertility treatment will greatly increase your chances of becoming pregnant and starting the family that you have always wanted. It's important to take that first step, however, by contacting our fertility practice for a consultation.

Schedule a Consultation with Dr. Sonja Kristiansen

For more information about in vitro fertilization (IVF) and how it can benefit you, be sure to contact our team of fertility specialists today. Dr. Sonja Kristiansen and her entire team look forward to meeting you in person and helping you start the family of your dreams.

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Dr. Sonja Kristiansen

Houston Fertility Center

Dr. Sonja Kristiansen is the founder and Medical Director of Houston Fertility Center. She is a board-certified Reproductive Endocrinologist Infertility (REI) specialist who is proud to help hopeful parents fulfill their dreams of having children. Our center is affiliated with the:

  • American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
  • American Society for Reproductive Medicine
  • Texas Medical Association

We provide convenient care for patients from greater Houston and visitors from out of town. For more information about our services, contact our office online or call (713) 225-5375 today.

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