Obesity and Women Health

Obesity is a complex disease involving an excessive amount of body fat. It is a rising epidemic affecting millions worldwide. Obesity isn’t just a cosmetic concern but is a medical problem that increases your risk of other disease and health problem such as:

  • Menstrual irregularity and fertility issue
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Coronary heart disease
  • High blood pressure, stroke

Obesity may increase your risk of cancer of the uterus, cervix, breast, colon, liver and gallbladder cancer. Obesity can also affect your quality of life and lead to psychological problems such as depression and low self-esteem

What Causes Obesity

Although there are genetic, behavioral, metabolic and hormonal influences on body weight, obesity is gradually caused by consuming high amounts of energy particularly fat and sugars then burning off the energy through exercise and physical activity.

Some of the common contributing factors includes:

  • Physical inactivity – Sedentary lifestyle
  • Unhealthy Diet – taking diet high in calories, lacking in fruits and vegetables, full of fast food, all contribute to weight gain
  • Genetics – the genes that you inherit from your parents may affect the amount of body fat you store. Obesity tends to run in families
  • Medication – Some medicine such as antidepressants, anticonvulsants, diabetic medication, antipsychotic, steroid and beta blockers can lead to weight gain stress, emotional factors and poor sleep

Medical problems such as hypothyroidism, insulin resistance PCOS and Cushing’s syndrome also contribute to obesity.

How does obesity affect fertility in women?

  • Obesity causes menstrual irregularity and can affect a couple’s ability to get pregnant.
  • Obesity decreases the rate of successful pregnancy in natural conception cycles as well as in women undergoing artificial reproductive therapies.
  • Obesity causes insulin resistance that is linked to failure of a woman producing the egg from each ovary every month.

Insulin levels and obesity also lead to altered sex hormones and high androgen (male hormone)

Polycystic ovarian syndrome which is one of the most common cause of infertility is also associated with obesity and anovulation

Obesity and Pregnancy

If you are obese than lose weight before you get pregnant. Losing even a small amount of weight can improve your overall health and pave the way for a healthier pregnancy. Obesity increases the risk of the following problems during pregnancy:

High rate of abortion- It could be due to poor egg quality, defective implantation and altered level of hormones that help in sustaining the pregnancy

Birth defect – babies born to obese women have an increased risk of having birth defects, such as heart disease and neural tube

Problems with diagnostic test – having too much of body fat can make ultrasound examination difficult

Macrosomia – In this condition fetus is larger than normal, thus increasing the chances of operative delivery

Obesity is also a risk factor for preterm birth and stillbirth increases the incidence of serious health problems such as gestational, hypertension, preeclampsia or eclampsia, gestational diabetes mellitus and obstructive sleep apnea are associated with obesity despite the risks, you can have a healthy pregnancy if you are obese. All you need is careful management of weight, attention to diet and exercise, regular prenatal care to monitor for complications and special considerations for your labor and delivery.

Obesity and perimenopausal problems

The years leading up to a woman’s last period is called perimenopause. It usually begins when women are in their 40s to 50s and it can last anywhere from two to eight years. During this period there is also a tendency to gain weight, which can be due to drop in estrogen level and decrease in energy expenditure. Studies have shown that obese women experience more severe perimenopausal symptoms than normal.

Some of the signs of perimenopause include:

  • Menstrual irregularity
  • Hot flushes and sweating
  • Breast tenderness
  • Worsening premenstrual symptoms
  • Low sex drive and fatigue
  • Vaginal dryness and discomfort
  • Urinary urgency
  • mood swings, sleep disturbance and depression

Following are steps that can help to reduce perimenopausal symptoms and enhance your general well-being:

  • Regular exercise, yoga, meditation
  • Adequate sleep
  • Attain a healthy weight
  • Stop smoking and drink less alcohol
  • Take calcium and multivitamin supplement
  • Support from family and friends

Remember, there is no quick fix for obesity.

  • Eat a balanced, healthy and calorie-controlled diet as advised by a health professional (dietitian).
  • Eat more servings of vegetables, fruits and plenty of dietary fiber.
  • Take up activities such as exercise, jogging, swimming and aerobics.
  • Regularly monitoring your weight, setting realistic goals and involving your friends and family with your attempt to lose weight can also help.

SSB HEART AND MULTISPECIALITY HOSPITAL provides you with the best of healthcare services, we have a team of best of obstetrician and gynaecologist, pediatrician, neonatologist,

yoga instructor and breastfeeding counselor.

Consult a gynaecologist by taking appointment +91 8375011234.

Note: We suggest you to stay home, keep social distancing, eating healthy, staying hydrating, and following the basic hygiene protocols.