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Pregnancy in Obese Women - Are You At Risk?

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Clinical Directorate

Pregnancy in Obese Women

Pregnancy in Obese Women - Are You At Risk?

Dr. Pradeep Chowbey
Chairman- Max Institute of Minimal Access, Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery, Chairman- Surgery & Allied Surgical Specialties, Executive Vice Chairman- Max Healthcare
Minimal Access / Laparoscopic Surgery, Weight Loss Surgery, Metabolic And Bariatric Surgery

Do you know that obesity increases the risk of PCOD (Polycystic Ovarian Disease) by 2.25 times in women with Body Index more than 30? 

What is the Exact Reason for infertility?

PCOS is actually one of the major risk factors for infertility, and obese women are three times more likely to be infertile as compared to women with a normal body mass index.

It is not surprising to know that both men and women can suffer from infertility primarily due to genetic, environment or factors related to lifestyle. Besides this, the most common and documented risk factor causing infertility is “Obesity”.

Obesity is a reason for excess insulin production and an infertility condition known as PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). It is a medical condition that is associated with irregular menstrual cycles, decreased or stopped ovulation, obesity and high levels of male hormones.

It is a known fact that obese women take a longer time to conceive and when they conceive there is a higher risk of pregnancy complications such as miscarriage, diabetes, and premature birth. The chances of LSCS are also higher putting the mother and baby both at risk.

What can Obesity do to your body?

Obesity can cause serious disorders like:

  • Menstrual irregularities
  • Difficulty in conceiving
  • Absence of ovulation
  • Low response to fertility treatments
  • Increased chances of miscarriage
  • Prenatal complications
  • Overproduction of insulin that can lead to irregular ovulation

Will weight loss surgery help in Pregnancy?

Women look forward to weight loss surgery to increase their chances of conceiving. Pregnancies that happen after weight loss surgeries have higher neonatal outcomes like:

  • Fewer chances of premature and caesarean deliveries
  • Lower incidence of low and high birth weight babies.  

Post-surgery weight loss for women with PCOS has resolved metabolic and reproductive abnormalities and women are able to conceive within few months after surgery. However, to protect women and their babies from malnutrition, it is recommended that women should not conceive until their weight stabilizes.

Since 2015, several women are undergoing weight-loss surgeries. This makes it important for the patients who conceive after bariatric surgery to be in constant touch with their gynecologist and bariatric team for nutrition and vitamin supplementation.

Dr. Pradeep Chowbey says, "A good relationship between weight, lifestyle, and nutrition improves fertility. In, obese people their intimate lives seriously get impacted hampering their self-esteem and an overall status of their relationship".