“About 75 percent of women, who go for infertility treatment are obese and generally have irregular menstrual cycles and many do not ovulate properly,” says Dr Saroja Koppala, fertility consultant at Nova IVI Fertility, Hyderabad.
Stress and obesity may delay pregnancy
Sharing her experience, she says, “One of my patient, a male, 34 and his wife 30, were planning to start a family. Six months of trying did not help and the couple was stressed about not being able to conceive.
It was suspected that high BMI and persistent stress were the reasons behind the case. In yet another case of infertility, when one of the couple works in the night shift and the other works during day – evidently pregnancy is not possible.”
Infertility is becoming a common phenomenon in these days. And the reasons may be stress, anxiety, depression, obesity, and infertility. “Many lifestyle factors such as the age at which to start a family, weight, lack of exercise, psychological stress, environmental and occupational exposures, and others can have substantial effects on fertility. Women or men who consume tobacco, excessive alcohol or caffeine are more likely to develop problems of infertility,” says Dr Saroja.
Obesity and Age
Women are career-oriented now-a-days and they marry late. In this process they face infertility. “We are seeing a rise in young couples, aged between 30-40 years, visiting the clinic in last one year, and obesity is found in at least 15-20% of the cases – with either partner or both in some cases. Being obese can lead to abnormal hormone levels in the body, affecting the reproductive process.
For instance, over-production of insulin results in irregular ovulation and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) in women. In men, obesity can lead to low sperm count and quality. Excess fat tampers with testosterone levels in the body and thus reduces the testicle stimulation, inhibiting sperm production.”
Stress also affects testosterone levels and sperm production in men. For some women, chronic stress can affect ovulation by altering the signals to the hypothalamus, the centre of the brain that regulates some of the hormones that trigger the ovaries to release eggs each month. “Many people who cannot get pregnant are extremely stressed. As time passes, the feelings of stress and anxiety only increase, and, in the end, depression often kicks in.
That is why stress relief should be a part of every couple’s conception plan when they are going through an IVF process. Having a check on one’s weight will not only help prevent other deadly diseases but also save one’s fertility. It is necessary for both men and women to maintain a healthy lifestyle, with regular physical workouts and a balanced diet, to live the dream of healthy pregnancy,” Dr Saroja adds.
We share our work in a joint family and will have time to spend with the spouse. “in olden days our elders use to take care of us which helped us to forget stress and live joyful life, which is a good environment to conceive,” says Dr Saroja.