Fertility and Being Underweight: What Patients Should Know
At Arizona Associates for Reproductive Health, we understand the stress and uncertainty couples who face challenges getting pregnant feel. Our fertility clinic offers a wide range of services with the utmost compassion to help those who have struggled with infertility find the right treatment for their needs.
There are many things that can affect fertility. One possibility is weight. When discussing weight and health, it's common to assume issues stem from being overweight, but being underweight can affect fertility.
Drs. Ketan S. Patel provides treatment and guidance for fertility and underweight patients in Scottsdale, AZ, Gilbert, AZ, and surrounding areas. For answers to your questions about infertility, we welcome you to schedule a consultation.
Being Underweight Can Impact Health and Fertility
Weight plays an important role in health and fertility. While many people focus on how being overweight can be detrimental to health and fertility, being underweight can also present problems.
Weight is often an indication of how well a person eats. Those who do not eat enough or consume a healthy diet may be underweight, which is defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of 18.5 or less. As a result, they may not receive enough vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients to keep their body functioning its best. For example, patients who do not get enough iron may develop anemia and feel fatigued.
Being underweight can affect fertility and ovulation, and also cause hormonal imbalances. Some women who are underweight may experience irregular ovulation, stop ovulating altogether, or stop menstruating. This can make it difficult for some women who are underweight to become pregnant.
Gaining Weight and Improving Nutrition May Help
Women who are underweight and have struggled to become pregnant may improve their fertility by maintaining a healthy weight and increasing the level of nutrients in their body.
When trying to gain weight, it is important to do so through eating a healthy diet and not consuming foods high in fats and sugars simply to gain weight. Instead, consider these tips:
- Eat lean protein, like fish and chicken, or from plant-based sources, like beans and legumes.
- Eat a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables as these are good sources of essential vitamins and minerals.
- Don't fill up on water or other drinks before a meal.
- Eat three balanced meals a day and healthy snacks between meals.
When Gaining Weight Isn't Enough, Fertility Treatment May Help
While gaining weight can help many women who are underweight become pregnant, some may still have difficulty conceiving. In such circumstances, fertility treatment may help.
There are many different underweight and fertility treatment options to help address the specific needs of each patient. Some may successfully become pregnant through ovulation induction while others may benefit from other treatments like in vitro fertilization (IVF) or intrauterine insemination (IUI).
Schedule a Consultation
If you live in or around Scottsdale and would like to learn more about fertility treatment, please call (623) 469-3992 to schedule a consultation.