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Will underweight affect your chances of getting pregnant

How body fat affects ovulation?

How to correct?

Many of you might have heard the fact that body weight has a direct relationship with pregnancy. But most of that is just a superficial knowledge. This being a very important factor; let us try to understand it in-depth. The normal fat content in the body of an adult woman is 28%. A woman needs a minimum of 22% body fat to have regular ovulation. If you have regular periods with an interval of about 28 days, it means that you have enough fat in your body and you ovulate on the right days.

underweight and infertility

How body fat affects ovulation?

The hormones from the brain to the pituitary gland are carried through the body fat. When the fat level in the body is too low this flow is disrupted. Then the pituitary gland becomes unable to send signals to the ovaries to release the eggs. Thus the ovaries do not release the egg into the fallopian tube even though you have plenty of them in the ovaries. When the sperm reaches the fallopian tube, there is no egg there to be fertilized and consequently no pregnancy.

How to correct?

Many women keep the fat in their bodies low in their quest to look trim, not knowing that it adversely affects their ability to conceive. They also deny to their body the essential nutrients which are required during pregnancy. Women with eating disorders like anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa are bound to be extremely underweight. The way out of this problem is to maintain the correct body weight in relation to your height. Watch your Body Mass Index (BMI) to determine the correct body weight required for you. The BMI table can be obtained from the net or from any gym. If your body fat level is lower by 15% below the ideal fat level you are sure to have menstrual irregularities. If it is lower by 30% the menstrual cycle may stop altogether. When the BMI goes below 19, your doctor may suggest an increase in the intake of calories and stop your work out until you have the required weight. When you attain that, your normal menstrual cycle will be back.


Even after you get back your normal weight, if you do not have the normal menstruation, it is time to get a fertility book or see a fertility specialist. There may be some other problem affecting your fertility than the underweight and lack of fat in you. There are other reasons too for having a normal body weight and fat level before getting pregnant. In many cases, underweight women deliver underweight babies. It has been observed that underweight women have a 72% chance for a miscarriage.

(Read more about Cause of female infertility)

(Read more about Best Reviewed Fertility Books)

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