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Obesity: A Concern for Fertility & Pregnancy

Jan. 12, 2023 5:29 pm

More than a cosmetic concern, obesity is a medical issue that raises the risk for heart disease, which is the leading cause of death in the U.S.  

The statistics on rising obesity rates are staggering.  Various health conditions arise directly as a result of obesity, namely:

  • Type II diabetes
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Many forms of cancer
  • The list goes on and on . . .

Why does this matter to us at Women's Care of Wisconsin/PT Center for Women? Two critical reasons:

  • infertility rates rise with obesity
  • pregnancy is generally riskier in the overweight population

An important study found a missing link from obesity to infertility, clarifying the relationship between being overweight and the inability to conceive. A second study looked at the relationship between exercise both before and during pregnancy, and the onset of Gestational Diabetes Mellitus. The rationale behind the study was the fact that obesity and inactivity are related, and that obesity is a major risk factor for gestational diabetes. 

The results of this study are certainly encouraging. A positive relationship has been established between exercise both pre-pregnancy and during early pregnancy with a significantly lower risk of developing gestational diabetes, and thus hopefully breaking the cycle between gestational diabetes, childhood obesity, adult obesity and type II diabetes.

Both studies confirm the importance of incorporating exercise into your daily routine and maintaining a healthy weight. Your provider can help advise you on the most appropriate diet and exercise regime to help you achieve a healthy conception and pregnancy.

Michelle Landsverk is a Doctor of Physical Therapy at PT Center for Women, 3232 Ballard Road, Appleton, WI 54911. To make an appointment with Michelle call or text 920.729.2982.

PT Center for Women is one of the only physical therapy centers in Wisconsin that specializes in pelvic pain and pelvic muscle dysfunction, offering women of all ages comprehensive evaluation and treatment for their physical therapy needs.

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