It is well-known that being very overweight can have an impact on your fertility, and so obese women are often told that they need to lose weight in order to have fertility treatment.
Now, new analysis of research from the Netherlands suggests that losing weight if you are obese might not have an immediate impact on your chances of getting pregnant with fertility treatment but what it does make a difference to is your chances of getting pregnant naturally.
The researchers found weight loss had a significant impact on the chances of getting pregnant naturally, particularly for women who were not ovulating. There was a marked increase in the chances of getting pregnant naturally for this group when they lost weight. The research team suggest that this shows that healthy lifestyle changes could be a first port of call for obese women, especially those who aren’t ovulating.
You can read more about this research presented at the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology annual meeting here.
We know that being very overweight can have an impact on your fertility, but sometimes messages like this become distorted as shown the tragic case of a young woman who died after taking diet pills she’d bought online because she wanted to get pregnant and had been told losing weight would help. In fact, Rachael Cook was not overweight at all but she bought the pills, dinitrophenol (DNP), online and died of a heart attack after taking one. The drug is an industrial chemical and is not meant to be consumed.
This is such a terribly sad story – Rachael was only 25, and should have had so much to look forward to, but it is a real warning about the dangers of taking any drugs that you buy online. You can read more about the risks of DNP here.
POSTSCRIPT: I have had an email about this post, pointing out that actually Rachael had originally got these pills after being told she needed to lose weight in order to have treatment – but she continued with the pills and was no longer overweight at the time of her tragic death. I would also like to thank the person who emailed to point this out – I did try to email you back to say thank you but the email bounced straight back