A huge new discovery about obesity is a big deal for the millions of Americans who are overweight and are thinking about getting pregnant.
An alarming new finding by researchers studying obesity suggests that if you’re overweight, you’re going to have a lot harder time getting pregnant as a couple. The study found that couples in which both partners were obese take anywhere from 55 to 59 percent longer to become pregnant compared to people of a healthy weight.
The study, which was published in the journal Human Reproduction, examined couples who were part of the Longitudinal Investigation of Fertility and the Environment (LIFE) study. That study involved 501 couples from Michigan and Texas between 2005 and 2009, and women were between the ages of 18 and 44 years old while men were over 18 years old.
The women were told to keep journals of their menstrual cycles, intercourse and home pregnancy tests. They were followed until pregnancy for up to a year of trying to get pregnancy. The researchers found that obese couples tooka lot longer to achieve pregnancy than couples who weren’t obese. Previous studies had focused on the weight of the woman, but this study takes the weight of both parents into consideration.
“A lot of studies on fertility and body composition have focused on the female partner, but our findings underscore the importance of including both partners,” said Rajeshwari Sundaram, Ph.D., a senior investigator in the Division of Intramural Population Health Research at NIH’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, in the statement. “Our results also indicate that fertility specialists may want to consider couples’ body compositions when counseling patients.”