Fertility and Bariatric Surgery

SmartShape Weight Loss Centre

When it comes to obesity, you’ve read all about the dangers. You know about increased risk for heart disease, diabetes, back and joint problems, and many other conditions. But here’s one you may not know: Excess weight can affect your chances of becoming pregnant. Obesity has a number of different effects on your fertility.

1. Obesity affects your hormones

When your body mass index goes past the overweight category (BMI of 25–29.9) and into the obese category (BMI of 30 and above), hormonal changes may occur in your body. When your levels of natural hormones change, your chances of conception is reduced.

One of the hormonal imbalances that comes with obesity often leads to insulin resistance. That is a major risk factor on the road to diabetes — but it also affects your fertility and can create abnormal menstrual cycles. Insulin resistance can lead to reduced ovulation, in which your body does not produce eggs properly.

2. Obesity affects natural and assisted pregnancies

Obesity makes it more challenging to become pregnant, no matter whether you’re using natural means or by reproductive technologies such as in vitro fertilization (IVF). Obesity has been shown to increase your risk for a miscarriage. This issue may be caused by the hormonal issues noted above or because of your body producing ovum that are not as stable as normal weight individuals.

3. Obesity decreases your partner’s fertility, too

Although much of the focus on obesity and infertility is on women, it absolutely affects men, too. For men, obesity can lead to a reduction in testosterone levels, which can lead to infertility. On top of that, erectile dysfunction occurs at a higher rate among obese men.

4. Losing weight can improve all of the above

If the issues above seem daunting, don’t fret — you and your partner can improve your chances of success by losing weight. As you lose weight, the hormonal imbalances and other effects of obesity begin to decrease. If you need help with a weight-loss plan, talk to your doctor. If your weight is a serious problem, you may be a candidate for weight loss surgery.


If you’d like to learn more about how a bariatric procedure might help you and your fertility, speak with one of our Surgeons today at (888) 278-7952 or Connect through our website at https://www.smartshape.ca/connect-today/

 Thanks to the Cleveland Clinic’s “healthessentials” newsletter for this information.