Almost every person is aware that obesity and overweight can increase the risk of many health problems such as diabetes or cardiac problem but it is a lesser-known fact that obesity and overweight conditions also affect fertility. Not only overweight, but the underweight condition can also interrupt normal fertility. The chances of having a healthy baby largely depend on the normal weight of the mother-to-be. If the woman desiring of becoming a mother is closer to a healthy weight, there are fair chances of easy conception as well as healthy non-complicated pregnancy. If you are overweight or underweight, then attaining and maintaining a normal weight can emphasize the chances of conception.

Impact of weight on male and female fertility

Unhealthy weight highly impacts male and female fertility. If the male or female is significantly overweight or underweight, this condition directly interferes with the level of hormones. It can cause overproduction or barred production of hormones which can disrupt sperm production in males and ovulation in females.

Learn how to know that your healthy weight

Calculating your Body Mass Index (BMI) is a common weight measure method. BMI provides an approximate weight range depending on your height. BMI range between 19 to 25 is considered to be healthy and normal. Below 19 it is considered to be underweight, overweight BMI ranges between 25 to 29 A person having BMI beyond 29 is declared obese.

Overweight and fertility

High BMI can highly show an impact on the fertility of both males and females. In males, hormonal imbalance is a major affected factor due to overweight or obesity. Due to disturbed hormonal levels, erectile dysfunction can happen. An interrupted hormonal level can deplete the sperm quantity as well as quality. The sperm cycle is production to maturation takes almost 2.5 to 3 months to complete, if you are an overweight man then you should attain your healthy weight in 3 months.

In females, being overweight directly influences the hormonal ratio, thus causing a problem in regular periods and even ovulation. Obesity and overweight females are mostly found to suffer from PCOS which is a big reason for infertility in women. Assisted reproductive technologies might face failure due to being overweight.

If a woman is healthy when she conceived but she’s gaining weight during pregnancy, this condition is also not good for the fetus developing in her womb. Increased weight can cause high blood pressure, miscarriage, gestational diabetes, cesarean birth and even stillbirth.

Underweight and fertility

Being an underweight female is also not a good sign if you are looking forward to conception. Being Underweight can cause problems by lowering the level of estrogen in the body. Lower or barred production of estrogen causes irregular menstrual cycle therefore irregular ovulation or even no ovulation. Ovulation refers to the production of eggs from the ovaries. In the absence of ovulation, no conception can take place inside your uterus.

The low BMI of a male can make him infertile due to poor quality semen ejaculation. An underweight man struggles with the erection process as well as his sperms are poor quality and less concentrated. Low-quality sperms fail to reach up to the fallopian tubes therefore fertilization does not happen inside the female reproductive system.

Prepare yourself for pregnancy

● If you and your partner are planning for a pregnancy, maintaining a healthy weight should be your first step. Prepare your body for conception by attaining a normal BMI. To improve the chances of pregnancy and carrying a healthy baby start taking a healthy diet and exercise regularly. Get in touch with your health care provider and nutritionist to prepare a healthy diet chart and follow it without fail.

● Increase the portion of vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, and milk in your diet. Reduce the consumption of fast food. Keep in mind that certain fruits are not advised during pregnancy such as papaya and pineapple.

● Stop taking energy drinks and alcohol. Drink plenty of water throughout the day.

● Keep yourself physically active, and try to climb upstairs as much as you can.

● Reduce the time of ideal sitting in front of a TV or laptop, walk around the room at regular intervals.

● Involve your partner in healthy eating and exercise, because a healthy weight is mandatory for both of you.


Low or high BMI is a major factor affecting the fertility of both males and females. Achieving a normal weight is essential for flawless conception. Over or underweight disturbs the hormonal level, therefore influencing ovulation in females and lowering the sperm count and quality in males. To attain a normal BMI, a healthy diet and exercise are prescribed for both males and females. An unhealthy mother can give birth to a baby with several birth defects which are highly unwanted conditions. booklets/documents/fact-sheets-and-info-booklets/weight-and-fertility/ pregnancy-health