Pregnancy

Hoping to conceive naturally? Losing just over 9lbs if you are overweight could help double your chances, according to the latest research.

The study from the Netherlands focused on 577 overweight or obese women with fertility problems, all with a BMI of between 29 and 35. The study showed that those who lost 9.5lbs in six months by cutting out junk food and introducing more exercise more than doubled their chances of conceiving naturally within the same time frame.

Of the group who lost weight, one in four went on to conceive naturally compared to one in ten of the women who did not diet and exercise.

The 9lb weight loss was particularly beneficial in women whose periods had stopped (anovulation) or were infrequent.

According to Dr Anne Van Oers of the University Medical Centre Groningen:

"Our finding that lifestyle intervention in obese women more often leads to natural conception, specifically anovulatory women, should be used in their counselling before fertility treatment and could reasonably be offered as first line treatment for anovulation in obese women.’

The findings were presented at the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology annual meeting in Helsinki this week.

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The HSE recommends that women who are overweight undergo a weight loss programme of five – ten per cent weight loss over a three to six-month period before becoming pregnant. A higher dose of folate (5mg) and Vitamin D (10ug) is also advised pre-pregnancy for women with a BMI of 30 or higher.

For women embarking on assisted reproduction, BMI should ideally be in the range 19-30.

Did losing weight help you to conceive naturally? Let us know on Twitter @HerFamilydotie. 

MORE: Why Standard Supplements May Not Meet Your Folic Acid Needs.

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