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Weight and Fertility : Can Body Weight Impact Fertility ?

Body weight is a touchy subject, and it can become even more complex when talking about the relationship between weight and infertility. In fact, your weight, whether too high or too low, can impact fertility. Being overweight can prevent ovulation or prevent fertility treatments from working. (1

Maintaining a healthy weight provides many benefits when trying to conceive, and while a healthy weight doesn’t guarantee conception, it can definitely improve your chances of conceiving naturally.

We know that being both underweight or overweight can impact a woman’s ability to conceive, but what is a healthy weight? Being a healthy weight means different things to different people, and there are a few ways to measure it.

Using a BMI (body mass index) calculator is a great way to determine where your weight range falls. BMI takes into account a person’s weight in relation to how tall they are. When it comes to trying to conceive, a BMI below 30 is best, but a BMI of 18.5-24.8 is considered ideal for a healthy weight. (2)

Keep in mind that while calculating your BMI is a great tool, it is not going to tell you everything you need to know. BMI is a simple measurement that doesn’t take into account factors like waist or hip measurements, how much muscle mass someone has, or the distribution of fat.

Why Weight Impacts Fertility in Women


Maintaining a healthy weight in order to boost the chances of conception is important for many different reasons.

For one, weight can influence the amount of estrogen in your body. Being underweight can reduce how much estrogen you have in your body, which can cause your menstrual cycles to stop. (3)

Being overweight can increase your risk of insulin resistance which can then turn into type 2 diabetes, and insulin resistance has been linked to polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS.) PCOS causes an imbalance in both progesterone and estrogen levels, which can lead to disrupted menstrual cycles and fertility issues.

Another way weight impacts fertility has to do with the fact that being underweight can affect ovulation. A woman may not even have a menstrual cycle is she is very underweight, so ovulation may not even occur each month. A woman with a BMI under 18.5 is at risk for issues with fertility due to the fact that ovulation can be disrupted due to hormone imbalance. (4)

Why Weight Impacts Fertility in Men

Being overweight isn’t only problematic for a woman’s chance of conception, but being overweight can also affect male fertility as well. In men, obesity can significantly lower fertility by lowering testosterone, which can decrease the ability of a woman to produce healthy sperm. Obesity can also increase estrogen in men, which can then cause an increase in abnormal sperm.

Overall, it has been found that obesity in men negatively affects male fertility due to changes in hormone levels as well as changes in sperm function. The good news is that studies have found that positive dietary and lifestyle changes were able to reverse the damaging effects obesity has on sperm function. (5)

Weight and Fertility Complications

Being overweight or underweight also has the potential to cause pregnancy complications once a woman is pregnant. Obesity has the ability to harm the environment in which the egg and the sperm develop and being overweight while pregnant also poses the risk of high blood pressure, pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, infection, early labour induction, cesarean birth as well as the increased risk of miscarriage. Babies who are born to mothers who are overweight are also at a higher risk of certain health issues like childhood obesity. (6)

If a woman is undergoing IVF, being overweight can also affect IVF success rate. Being overweight can affect egg quality, which can make IVF success difficult with a woman using her own eggs. (7)

Still not sure how weight affects fertility? Let our TCM specialists explain to you!

What Can You Do to Achieve a Healthy Weight?

Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight isn’t just important for fertility, it’s essential for overall health as well.



Nutrition plays such a large role in maintaining a healthy weight, and the first place to start is to avoid foods that offer poor nutritional value such as carbohydrate-rich foods like pasta, bread, rice, and baked goods. It’s best to avoid these as much as possible, or at least enjoy them in moderation. A helpful tip is to try to make your protein intake equal to or higher than your carbohydrate intake.

Following a fertility diet can also be helpful in supporting a healthy weight, but also boosts your chances of conception. Every meal in a fertility diet should include a fruit or vegetable, fats, and protein.

If you suffer from PCOS, diet is essential here. Focus on eating as many organic yang foods as you can like red meat, fish, kale, tomatoes, and black mushrooms to help reverse PCOS. You can also try drinking ginger tea, or red ginseng tea.


Lifestyle Changes

Lifestyle changes like adding more exercise into your life can also be very beneficial for those with PCOS and fertility issues due to weight gain. Exercise can boost your Yang energy like exercises that help you work up a sweat. Try things like brisk walking, running, and cycling to get the heart pumping and the blood flowing.

Herbal Supplements

In addition to dietary and lifestyle changes, there are certain supplements that can help support a healthy weight, support those with PCOS, and thus help boost the chance of conception.

Our Natural Weight Loss Kits are for all different causes of weight gain such as IBS, PCOS, high cholesterol, as well as stress and hormone imbalance. Adding a supplement regimen to your weight management plan can be a great way to holistically support your health for a better chance of natural conception.

The Bottom Line

Maintaining a healthy weight is such an important part of supporting overall wellness, as well as boosting your chance of conception. The great news is that both men and women can improve their fertility by making healthy dietary and lifestyle changes and supplementing appropriately. All of these healthy changes can help support a healthy weight, balance hormones, support a healthy menstrual cycle, and sperm quality, all of which are key for fertility health.

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PCOS and Weight Loss Kit

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Can Body Weight Impact Fertility

 These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. We can’t guarantee the treatment result, as the symptoms of conditions are unpredictable and vary greatly from person to person. The treatment length and recovery time also varies for individual. Please visit our clinics website: GinSen where a specialists will discuss your care and provide a consultation, and the treatment will be designed to meet your individual needs.

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