In India and abroad, weight, female fertility and infertility are quite often linked to each other, both by a clinician and a layman. Generally, the weight factor is regarded as BMI, which measures the weight of a person relative to their height and is often a measure of the body fat present.

What is BMI?

BMI stands for Body Mass Index and is calculated by dividing body weight (kgs) by body height (m^2). For knowing your accurate BMI, you can consult your clinician at the earliest. According to both Indian and international standards, here are some general range of BMI for women:

BMI (Body Mass Index) Weight Status
Under 19 Underweight
19-24 Normal
25-29 Overweight
Over 29 Obese

Although BMI is taken as a standard parameter to check weight conditions of the body, it is not advisable to relate BMI with health status as there is a discrepancy of distinguishing fat and muscles in the BMI calculation. Moreover, it doesn’t distinguish between good fats and bad fats in the body, or their distribution.

How does BMI affect female fertility?

Female fertility depends on several factors like healthy reproductive organs, normal hormone levels, and optimum uterus wall lining.

If the BMI value is very high, signifying an overweight and obese female population, it generally shows the presence of more body fats. More fats in the body lead to more hormonal production of estrogen and this can cause thicker uterine endometrium lining i.e. hyperplasia. A thicker uterine wall is a risk factor for heavy menstrual shedding and can result in infrequent periods and dysfunctional ovulation cycles. Dysfunctional estrogen levels can also cause polycystic ovarian syndrome which can further affect fertility. Furthermore, these conditions can also affect medical treatments for Infertility.

On the other hand, a low BMI, signifying an underweight female population, shows lower-than-the-normal body fat percentage and it can lead to slow processing of the hormone regulation and reproductive functions. These conditions can lead to irregular or absent menstrual cycles, body weakness, and irregular endometrium lining, which can lead to female infertility.

What if your BMI is not in the normal range?

If your BMI is not in the range of 19-24, it does not mean that you cannot be pregnant. An irregular BMI increases the risk of infertility but does not ascertain it. Many women with low and high BMIs have successfully conceived and are happy with their pregnancy.

Having said that, it is always beneficial to maintain a normal BMI to reduce the risks of infertility and the supplementary risks of diabetes and other metabolic disorders that come with it. These supplementary health disorders can also affect female fertility in the long run. Clinical studies have proven that reducing weight in case of obese female population in India, has increased the rates of pregnancy and thus it is evident that reducing one’s weight in case of a higher BMI can help to counter female infertility. Always remember that a good healthy diet and proper exercise can enhance your body’s metabolism and help you maintain your body weight. For medical help regarding Infertility, always talk to a health professional who specializes in metabolic fertility issues before going forward with clinical fertility treatments.

Can Regenerative Medicine help?

Several clinical research studies with stem cells have provided evidence that Regenerative medicine treatments can help in normalizing BMI or reducing body weight by improving body metabolism in several disorders like diabetes and infertility. India is regarded to be the diabetic capital of the world in the near future and with such reports, regenerative medicine in India will be the most sought-after treatment option to tackle BMI problems. Thus, apart from helping infertility issues by regenerating gonad cells, stem cells can also improve the relationship between BMI and infertility.