A women's reproduction is sensitive to her weight. Being overweight or underweight can significantly hamper the chances of getting pregnant.
Obesity can cause hormonal problems leading to infrequent ovulation and irregular periods. Being underweight on the other hand can interrupt the hormonal pathways between the brain and the ovaries, causing a disruption to ovulation and in some cases causing your periods to stop altogether.
Check your weight
If you want to fall pregnant or are thinking about starting a family, it is a good idea to check your weight. What is the ideal weight for pregnancy? One way to check if you are within a healthy weight range is to calculate your body mass index (referred to as BMI for short).
The BMI is calculated by measuring your weight in kilograms and dividing it by your height in metres squared.
For example, if you weigh 55 kg and your height is 1.6 m, then your BMI is calculated by dividing 55 by (1.6)2
A healthy BMI is between a range of 18.5 to 24.5. IF you BMI falls between 18.5 and 24.5 then you can consider yourself to be a healthy weight for pregnancy.
- You would be considered underweight if your BMI is below 18.5
- You would be considered overweight if your is BMI between 25 to 30
- Obesity is defined as a BMI greater than 30
Studies have shown that it is much harder to conceive when your BMI is greater than 25. So, to make sure you are in the healthy weight range for pregnancy, get those walking shoes on and take part in regular exercise. It is also advisable to re-evaluate your diet because additional studies have shown that by losing just 5-10% of your body weight, you can massively improve your chances of having a baby. Likewise, for underweight woman, just putting on a few kilos may get the ovarian-brain axis and menstrual cycle working normally again.