pregnancy, fertilityDid you know that achieving a healthy body weight can not only reduce the risks of serious diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer, but it may help reduce the time it takes to achieve pregnancy? Primarily, studies have so far focused on the role of obesity in women when studying its impact on fertility, however, a new study shows that it’s also important for the male to be of a healthy weight. The study from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) found that when both partners are obese, it can take 55 to 59 percent longer to conceive than slimmer couples.

Often, people wait a long time before seeking professional help to treat their obesity, but there are benefits to earlier treatment.  It’s also important to consider that if you are obese and considering having a baby, losing weight prior to achieving pregnancy can decrease the risk of serious pregnancy complications including high blood pressure or premature delivery.  In fact, another recent study found that for some women, it may actually be beneficial not to gain any weight—or even lose weight—during pregnancy. The researchers reported that severely obese women who maintained or lost weight during pregnancy had healthier babies and lower health care costs. Of course, it is best to consult with your physician before you try to lose weight during pregnancy.

Scheduling a pre-conception check-up may be a good first step if you are obese and considering getting pregnant.  Your primary care provider may refer you to a weight loss specialist, or bariatric surgeon. Many women have safe and healthy pregnancies after weight loss surgery. Dr. Mona Misra can explain each option and what the appropriate timing of pregnancy after those procedures would be. You can contact her here or call 800-788-1394 to schedule your consultation.