By Bridget Osho
So you have decided that you want to have a baby; maybe you just got married or you want another kid or you have been trying for a while with no success. Whatever the reason, please know that being underweight or overweight can make conception more difficult.
When you are overweight, the fat cells produce and release high levels of oestrogen which impede the production of a very important hormone called the Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH). FSH is required for ovulation (the release of the egg for fertilisation). When no egg is released, fertilisation cannot occur and there’s no baby. When you are underweight, the opposite happens, the body produces less hormones than is needed and again ovulation is affected.
In order to know if you are overweight, underweight or normal weight, please calculate your Body Mass Index (BMI).
You can do this by dividing your weight by your height squared. So if you weigh 63kg and are 1.57 metres tall, your BMI is 63 divided by 1.57x 1.57 = 25.56
BMI is classified as follows: Less than 19 = underweight.
19 -24 = normal weight, 25 – 29 = overweight, 30 – 39 = obese.
Whether you have to gain or lose some weight depends on the results of your own BMI calculation. In the example above, the person is slightly overweight. If you are underweight, now is not the time to indulge in fatty and sugary foods to gain weight nor is it a time to go on a crash diet to lose weight.
Everyone is still required to maintain a healthy and balanced diet to remain in good health and facilitate conception. I’ll encourage you to determine your BMI. In my next article, I’ll go into more details on how to achieve or maintain the best weight for conception.
Until then, take care and stay healthy.