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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    My doctor told me that I should lose some weight. How will this help my fertility?


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    Melanie McGrice is an Advanced Accredited Practising Dietitian, one of the few dietitians in Australia to achieve that status. Her success has made her an … View Profile

    Research shows that for every additional BMI point over a body mass index of 29, a woman’s fertility decreases by 4%. From my experience weight has a significant impact upon fertility. Essentially excess weight has three key effects. Number 1: it impacts the health of our eggs. Research shows that women who are overweight tend to have more ‘disorganised’ DNA – which is the genetic code which helps to create new life. Number 2: it impacts upon the release of our eggs. Contrary to what many people think, our stored body fat, or adipose tissue as it’s technically called, is actually metabolically active tissue undertaking many chemical reactions just like our other tissues, such as our muscles, bones and blood. One role of adipose tissue is the production of oestrogen. If a woman carries too much body fat, the combination of oestrogen produced by the ovaries and oestrogen produced by body fat can result in an overproduction of this hormone. If a woman’s oestrogen is chronically high, hormone production becomes out of balance. In fact, about 30% of infertility is thought to be caused by oestrogen imbalance. Number 3: excess weight impacts implantation of the egg. It is believed that being overweight impacts the environment of the uterus making it more difficult for your embryo to implant and receive the nourishment that it needs for survival.

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