Obese couples are less likely to become pregnant

If both partners are obese, the likelihood of pregnancy decreases
Obesity and obesity are a big problem in today's society. Researchers have now found that if both partners are obese in a partnership, the likelihood of pregnancy decreases.

A team of scientists from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development found in the current investigation that obese couples are more likely to have problems getting pregnant. Such couples take longer to get pregnant. The doctors published the results of their study in the journal "Human Reproduction".

Obesity in women stands in the way of the desire to become pregnant
A number of studies have already examined the role of women's weight in their fertility. It became apparent that obesity can have an adverse effect on women's pregnancy. The experts also explain that obesity is associated with less successful fertility treatments.

Doctors examine 501 couples during their study
The new study was the first to examine how it affects trying to conceive if both partners have a too high body mass index (BMI). The doctors examined 501 couples from Michigan and Texas. These were recruited for the study between 2005 and 2009.

A total of 75 men and 69 women became obese
At the beginning of the study, all participants measured their BMI and the size of their waist and hips. Then they were divided into different groups, the scientists explain. One group contained obese subjects, the other participants were not obese. A total of 75 men and 69 women were considered obese. These were again divided into two sub-groups. Obese class I (with a BMI of 30 to 34.9) and overweight subjects in class II (a BMI of 35 or greater), the authors say.

Researchers calculate probability of pregnancy
All couples were medically monitored daily for about a year or less before pregnancy. The participating women were asked to accurately record their monthly menstrual cycles, sexual intercourse, and the results of home pregnancy tests, the researchers explain. With the help of this data, the scientists then calculated the probability rates of the couples for a possible pregnancy. The study recorded the likelihood of pregnancy during each menstrual cycle in terms of BMI, the researchers explain.

Obese couples need up to 59 percent longer for a successful pregnancy
If only one partner was obese, the time to successful pregnancy did not change significantly, the doctors say. However, the picture was different when both partners were obese. The data from the study showed that obese couples may take 55 to 59 percent longer to successfully conceive compared to normal-weight couples. This result persisted when other factors such as smoking, age or cholesterol levels were taken into account.

BMI of couples has a major impact on the likelihood of pregnancy
The study makes it clear that the BMI of both partners does have a major impact on the chances of pregnancy, explains author Rajeshwari Sundaram. However, further research is needed to check the results more closely with a larger mass of the population. (as)

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