Does Being Overweight Decrease the Chance of Getting Pregnant?

Women who are overweight, excluding those who are chubby, are less likely to be able to ovulate. Obesity can actually affect ovulation, which makes it harder to plan for the right time to have intercourse.

How does obesity affect ovulation?

Estrogen is produced by your ovaries and also fat cells. When you gain weight, your fat cells increase the production of estrogen, and like the saying goes “too much of a good thing becomes a bad thing”;  too much estrogen becomes counteractive to the objective of getting pregnant as it starts to act like hormonal birth control. Opting to increase the possibility of pregnancy by way of fertility treatments such as in-vitro fertilization (IVF) would not be advised either because obesity has proven to actually decrease the chance of pregnancy. Do take note that this will also affect your monthly period, so if you are having irregular periods, this could be one of the reasons.

While there may be some women who are heavier probably because of bone density, central obesity (surrounding the abdomen) is the main cause that increases risks of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and ovulation challenges.

Medical experts have determined that a woman is on the positive side of getting pregnant if her Body Mass Index (BMI) is below 25. BMI count can be obtained by using your weight (in kilograms) divided by your height (in meters squared). According to medical charts, people with a BMI from 25-30 are overweight, while people with a BMI above 30 are considered obese. However, this is just an ideal BMI range for a healthy pregnancy. In order to know fat distribution or body composition, additional measurements will have to be taken.

Are there health risks of being pregnant while being overweight or obese?

The answer is an unquestionable yes. There is a possibility of gestational hypertension (high blood pressure while pregnant) if weight gain is not controlled during pregnancy. This would also lead to severe preeclampsia, whereby the kidneys and other organs could have problems too, and women with preeclampsia would notice massive headaches and edema (swelling) to both their face and hands.

Another major risk, which is also a negative effect on the baby, is gestational diabetes. It increases the possibility of a woman suffering from a lifetime obesity risks and Type II Diabetes, while also causing low blood sugar in the baby. In addition, a woman with gestational diabetes will be carrying a larger unborn child, meaning a more painful delivery and high risk of internal injuries – hence some women may opt for C-section instead, and that would mean saying goodbye to any hope of post-delivery bikini days.


The key to having a safe pregnancy is to live a healthy lifestyle, of knowing when to be active and what can you eat. While everyone may have “sloth days”, being pregnant means that you are not only affecting yourself but your unborn child as well.

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