Too Fat to Get Pregnant? Obesity Impairs Fertility More in Black Women
Recent medical studies have demonstrated how detrimental fat is to internal organs, but it now appears that fat can be more detrimental to black women than other groups, at least in so far as it relates to infertility.
The fat does damage by encroaching on internal organs, and inhibiting their function. Here’s a quick description of what happens to you internally when you’re overweight:
Health risks develop when your fat stores have exceeded certain thresholds. When people become overweight or obese, the body begins to run out of safe places to store fat and begins to store it viscerally, in and around the organs such as the heart and the liver. The fat then begins to act as an organ by secreting inflammatory substances that are harmful to the body.
This happens to everyone with internal fat, but a Black Women’s Health Study found that black women who were obese through the hips were less likely to become pregnant. Fecundity is a woman’s ability to reproduce, and the study found that, ” overall and central adiposity [fat] are associated with reduced fecundability in black women,” according to Lauren Wise, Sc.D., who spoke at the annual meeting of the Society for Pediatric and Perinatal Epidemiologic Research.
The specific reasons why fat impacts fertility are inconclusive, according to the study:
Little is known about the determinants of fertility in black women, who are disproportionately affected by the obesity epidemic in the United States. Studies of central adiposity and fertility in whites have been inconclusive, with some suggesting that adiposity may interfere with estrogen metabolism, increase insulin resistance, and change the quality and pH of cervical mucus, said Dr. Wise of the Slone Epidemiology Center at Boston University.
What is clear, however, is that fat directly impacts the fertility of women, especially black women. So if you’re struggling with infertility, one of the main health factors which should be taken into account, based on this study at least, is your body mass index (BMI). It is probably best to start trying to get pregnant after you’ve already reached a healthy body weight in order to minimize infertility issues.
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