Female Health Problems and Obesity

Obesity Increases Risk of Female Health Problems

Excess body fat resulting from obesity – especially severe clinical obesity – can lead to an increased risk of many obstetric and gynecological complications for women. These include infertility, menstrual abnormality, miscarriage and difficulties in performing assisted reproduction.

Menstrual Health Problems From Obesity

Obese women suffer more mentrual disorders. For example, the frequency of menstrual disturbance in women with morbid obesity (BMI 40+) is three times greater than for women of normal weight. Obesity in premenopausal women is associated with irregular menstrual cycles and infertility.

Health Problems For Mother and New Baby

Obesity has a strong detrimental effect on the health of both mother and new-born baby, both during and after pregnancy.

  • Obesity is associated with increased risk of death in both the baby and the mother and increases the risk of maternal high blood pressure by 10 times.
  • Excessive weight in pregnant moms is associated with a higher risk of hypertension, gestational diabetes, urinary infection, Cesarean section delivery and toxemia.
  • Infants of women who are obese during pregnancy are more likely to be high birth-weight, which carries a higher rate of Cesarean section delivery and low blood sugar.
  • Obesity in pregnancy carries an increased risk of birth defects, such as neural tube disorders like spina bifida.
  • Female obese patients are 13 times more likely to have overdue births, longer labors, induced labor and blood loss.
  • Obesity-related health problems occurring after childbirth include higher risk of wound and endometrial infection, endometritis and urinary tract infection.

Weight Loss Reduces Risk of Female Health Problems

Weight loss of about 10 percent of initial weight is effective in improving menstrual regularity, ovulation, hormonal profiles and pregnancy rates.



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