November 22, 2014

Obesity is Associated With Infertility

female BMI and Infertility

The incidence of obesity, defined as a Body Mass Index (BMI) greater than 30, is rising.  Obesity is associated with infertility and maternal complications while pregnant including an increased chance of miscarriage, still birth, gestational diabetes, gestational hypertension, difficult delivery, cesarean section and complications related to operative delivery.  Maternal obesity also is associated with type 2 diabetes and obesity in children and adults born to mothers who were obese during pregnancy. A recent study in mice (FertilSteril2014;102:899-907) found that maternal obesity and high fat postnatal feeding can affect female offspring’s future reproductive potential by significantly reducing the number of follicles and gene expression in their ovaries. These findings raise concerns about the effects of maternal obesity during pregnancy on the future reproductive health of the offspring.

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Joseph A. Hill, III, M.D.

Joseph A. Hill, III, M.D. Board-Certified in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility