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Low Weight and Infertility

The close relationship between low weight and infertility

The close relationship between low weight and infertilityYou may have heard that female athletes who lose too much body fat stop having periods after undergoing intense training. It may sound wonderful to lose weight and stop having periods, but being underweight negatively affects fertility. Our San Antonio fertility specialists can explain the link between low weight and infertility.

Understanding the link between low weight and infertility

When a woman loses too much weight because of eating disorders, excessive exercising or an illness, her body stops having periods in order to conserve energy. This condition is called hypothalamic amenorrhea, which means that a woman stops having periods for months at a time because of a disruption in the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus, which is located in the brain, plays an important role in menstruation, ovulation and pregnancy.

Overcoming being underweight

When a woman experiences a disruption in the function of the hypothalamus because of being underweight, she will not ovulate regularly, and she will be unable to conceive. Fortunately, our San Antonio fertility specialists offer treatments to help women conceive, even if they have a low body weight.

Our physicians first address the cause of a patient’s low body weight. Women may receive treatment for an eating disorder, or they may reduce the frequency and intensity of their exercise. The goal is to reach a healthy BMI of 18.5 to 24.9. However, gaining just five pounds can be enough to help a woman begin ovulating again.

In addition to gaining weight, some patients may need fertility treatments such as fertility medications or intrauterine insemination. Our San Antonio fertility specialists start by recommending the simplest but most effective fertility treatment for each patient before moving to more-advanced options.

Contact us to schedule an appointment at our San Antonio fertility center. Our physicians make your health and fertility our top priority.