abortion

Losing weight before conception

Weight loss before baby: Princeton IVF blog
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This time of year is a time when many couples who are having trouble conceiving decide it’s time to start seeking help. That help could come from the OBGYN, a midwife or a fertility specialist. It’s also a time in the year, after indulging during the holidays, when many of us have a few extra pounds to shed.

For those who are overweight, part of that advice will be to lose weight before conception.

While this may not be easy, there are multiple reasons why weight loss before pregnancy is good advice.

  • Being overweight will reduce the chances of you getting pregnant on your own

  • Being overweight will increase the chances that if you do get pregnant, you will miscarry

  • Being overweight will increase the chances of medical complications during pregnancy such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

  • While diet and exercise during pregnancy can help limit weight gain during pregnancy, it is not likely to reduce the likelihood of pregnancy-related complications such as diabetes and hypertension.

Delaying pregnancy and excess weight are both bad for fertility, so delaying pregnancy for weight loss is balancing two risks.

At what point do the risks of delaying pregnancy offset the benefits of weight loss?

  • According to a recent study presented at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, women in their late 30’s or those have poor ovarian reserve may be best off not delaying childbearing despite the obvious benefits.

Miscarriages and misperceptions

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A recent survey published in Obstetrics and Gynecology suggests most of the public is poorly informed about how common miscarriage is and what causes early pregnancy losses.

First the good news. Most folks' perception is actually worse than reality, and most respondents identified genetic abnormalities as the most common cause for miscarriage.  As a reproductive medicine specialist, these misunderstandings come as no surprise. Here are some of the misperceptions the surveyors found...

10-15% of pregnancies end in miscarriage, but ...

  • Most respondents believe miscarriages are rare (< 6%)

Stressful life events, lifting heavy objects and prior IUD or birth control pill use do not miscarriages but..

  • 76 % believed that stress causes miscarriages
  • 64 % believed that lifting heavy object can cause miscarriages
  • 28 % believed that prior IUD use (Mirena, Paraguard) can cause miscarriages
  • 22 % believed that prior birth control pills can cause miscarriages

The take home message from the study is that many couples attribute their pregnancy losses to factors within their control even though this is rarely the case, and counseling is the solution.