Banish extra kilos to relish the joy of motherhood

Banish extra kilos to relish the joy of motherhood
Highlights

Seventy per cent of women who are overweight face difficulty in getting pregnant. With inactive lifestyles, high stress levels and unhealthy dietary intake leading to an alarming rise in obesity among the fairer sex, the incidence of infertility is growing likewise.

Seventy per cent of women who are overweight face difficulty in getting pregnant. With inactive lifestyles, high stress levels and unhealthy dietary intake leading to an alarming rise in obesity among the fairer sex, the incidence of infertility is growing likewise.

Infertility or the inability to conceive in women of child-bearing age is a serious issue, since maternity is strongly associated with the completion of femininity as well as performing a vital duty in the growth of the family.

Even the thought of considering womanhood and motherhood as different entities is unacceptable to some people. This prevalent mindset, along with an individual’s yearning for a child, often put women, who are unable to conceive, under immense psychological stress.

According to the results of a research study published in the IOSR Journal of Nursing and Health Science (2014), there is significant association between obesity and infertility and psychological disturbances in addition to their impact on the quality of life and sexual functioning in women1.

For instance, take the case of 30-year-old Seema Arora, writer by profession, loving wife and daughter-in-law, who couldn’t wait to experience motherhood and hold a little bundle of joy in her arms. For the past eight months, she and her husband had been trying to go the family way, but with no results.

Every time the pregnancy test came out to be negative, she felt dispirited. And slowly, she started slipping into depression and losing interest in daily activities. Seema was obese, the reason why she was unable to conceive.

Studies have shown that fat deposits in the body can produce male hormones called androgens which interfere with follicular maturation, causing infertility and problems in ovulation. Studies have shown that weight-loss should be considered as the first option by obese and infertile women to improve reproductive outcomes.

While physical activity and diet control can regulate body weight to some extent, in extreme cases, more aggressive measures are needed. Bariatric surgery, a technologically advanced procedure carried out for significant and sustained weight loss, is an extremely effective and safe option.

Dr K S Lakshmi, Senior Consultant, Bariatric Surgery Global Hospital, Hyderabadsays, “The risk of infertility is three times higher in obese women over non-obese women. Excess weight affects every stage of a normal reproduction cycle in women, along with associated issues such as menstrual irregularities and lack of ovulation.

It is important for women to understand that even a small percentage of weight loss can have a huge impact on their ability to get pregnant. Needless to say, bariatric surgery is an excellent option for obese women to lose weight and enjoy the bliss of motherhood.”

In bariatric surgery, the size of the stomach is reduced. This helps make the patient feel full (satiated) even after having smaller meals. This along with other metabolic changes which happen because of realigning the stomach and small intestine leads to weight loss.

Depending on the procedure, the patient can lose up to 85-90 per cent of excess weight after surgery and 70-80 per cent improvement in the metabolic disorder.

If you are a woman with a BMI (body mass index) of 32.5 kg/m2 or more and thinking about getting pregnant, then you should consider bariatric surgery as a option before trying any other means for fertility.

According to a study, bariatric surgery can be an effective solution for young obese women who are facing infertility issues due to their increased body weight4. Another study established the positive effects of bariatric surgery on female fertility and reduced risk for gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia5.

Motherhood is a phase which holds a special meaning in every woman’s life. So, while maintaining weight can lessen the risk of infertility to a large extent, modern medical procedures, such as bariatric surgery, can be a management solution to infertility, helping women attain one of their prime dreams become a mother.

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