“Our results indicate that fertility specialists may want to consider couples’ body compositions when counseling patients,” Rajeshwari Sundaram of Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development was quoted by IANS.
Overall, close to 40% of the men and 30% percent of the women were obese. The participating couples also had a sedentary lifestyle with most engaging in physical activity less than once a week. Few other factors that were taken into account during the course of the investigation included smoking habits, cholesterol and blood pressure status and the level of physical activity among couples. Those who smoked, or consumed alcohol beyond the permissible limit or were found with high cholesterol levels took close to 60% longer to conceive when compared to others.
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, excessive weight in females itself poses significant threats to fetus’ health and makes conceiving difficult. Some of the documented and well-known pregnancy complications owing to mother’s excessive weight include conditions like sleep apnea (that may trigger risks of high blood pressure, heart and lung disorder in the mother), gestational diabetes (elevated blood sugar levels that may often increase the risk of cesarean delivery) among other complications like preeclampsia and eclampsia. Father’s obesity can heighten the risk of developing several other pregnancy related complications.
Mother’s excessive weight has also known to cause “pregnancy loss, preterm delivery, stillbirth and macrosmia (where baby’s size is larger than the usual),” American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.