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How Overweight is Too Overweight?

How Overweight is Too Overweight?

Many women wonder about their weight before they even become pregnant. If you are overweight when you're trying to conceive, it can damage your fertility and put you at risk for a myriad of health complications if you do become pregnant. If your partner is also overweight, he may have a low sperm count so your chances of getting pregnant are even less.

To see if you are overweight, check an online body mass index tool like the one at By entering your height and weight, you'll be able to determine if you are at a normal weight, or need to lose weight to conceive. If your BMI is between 25 and 29.9, you are considered overweight, and if your BMI is over 30, you are obese.

Doctors recommend that overweight women who are having trouble conceiving lose at least 5-10% of their body weight. This can eliminate many cases of infertility, but it does not mean your pregnancy will be healthy. Pregnant women who are overweight face complications like diabetes, high blood pressure, and an increased risk of conditions like preeclampsia or even birth defects or infant death. Also, if you are overweight and become pregnant, your risk of miscarriage is much higher throughout the pregnancy.

If you are overweight and have tried without success to become pregnant, fertility treatments may not be helpful either. Studies show that overweight women who undergo procedures like in vitro fertilization have a much lower success rate than women of normal weight.

It can be difficult to lose weight whether you need to lose 10 pounds or a hundred. Begin by reducing your caloric intake, and filling your diet with fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats and whole grains. Avoid fatty and sugary foods, and keep a food journal of the number of calories you're consuming each day.

Exercise is also necessary for weight loss, but start slowly to avoid injury. If you are unable to work out for long, begin with a walk around the neighborhood and gradually increase exercise as you can. For best results, you will need to get your heart rate up for at least 30 minutes each day. If your partner is overweight, exercising together can be very motivating, so get your spouse off the couch! Consult your doctor before you choose a weight loss plan, as he or she can offer you advice on safe and healthy exercise regimens.


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