Body Fat: Is It Needed for Conception?
With regards to fertility, both body mass and body fat play an important role. You may have heard from someone that people who are underweight or overweight are less likely to get pregnant. Let’s look more into this topic…
The Ideal BMI for Fertility
When it comes to fertility, there is a weight range considered to be ideal and it is based on one’s Body Mass Index (BMI). This is calculated by putting your weight and height into a formula and getting a number. There are BMI calculators available online, here’s one you can check out.
Ideally, for fertility, your BMI should be between 20 and 24. If in case your number is above that range, there is no need to panic or worry. You also should not go on a crash diet – this is not advisable to anyone as it is too stressful for the body. Remember, when you are trying to conceive, you want to avoid as much stress as you can. You can instead work to take off the weight in a healthy manner over time.
Body Fat, YES, You Need It!
Body fat plays an important function for fertility. Body fat cells (adipocytes) produce estrogen. Estrogens are primary female reproductive messengers that are needed for healthy gene expression and bone formation, maintaining healthy cholesterol levels, and it is also essential for a healthy menstrual cycle.
Women who do not have enough amounts of body fat may have menstrual cycle irregularities, infertility problems, and anovulation. Obese women, on the other hand, tend to have too much estrogen due to too much body fat and that may also contribute to fertility problems.
It is certainly important to be healthy and fit through proper diet and exercise, but it is equally important to have adequate amounts of body fat. Remember, body fat is also necessary for a regular menstrual cycle. Low body fat can cause ovulation to stop. You may have monthly menstruation, but you may be unaware that you are ovulating regularly.
Not Good for Fertility: Low-Fat Diets and Trans Fats
As mentioned earlier, having too little body fat disrupts the menstrual cycle. But, did you know that consuming too little whole fat foods can also pose fertility problems?
In today’s world, many people have been focused on the obesity rate, but you must understand that good fat are still necessary. Low-fat foods, as well as trans fats, are not good for you if you are trying to get pregnant. In the manufacturing of hormones, fat is essential. If you have a low-fat diet, then there could be issues with regards to ovulation due to the lack of progesterone.
Regardless of your weight, what is more important is to be eating good fats daily. You should also avoid low-fat, trans fat foods. Exercising daily within healthy limits is also a good choice!