In an ideal world, we’d all be of ideal weight.
But the most recent evidence shows that an estimated 58.4% of UK women were overweight or obese in 2011.
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Women who are bigger may face more challenges getting pregnant in the first place. There is an evidenced association between increasing body mass and decreasing fertility; for each BMI point over 29, the chances of falling pregnant decreases by 4%.
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It is not clear whether this relationship is causative (i.e. women find it more difficult to get pregnant because they are overweight), or merely correlative (women who are overweight also find it more difficult to become pregnant – perhaps the thing that is stopping them getting pregnant is also contributing to their weight, or some other connection?)
There are a number of studies showing the benefits of losing weight in order to improve the chances of conception, and while this might be consultants’ preferred solution, it is not always a realistic possibility.
Overweight women also are likely to have more problems during their pregnancy.
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For anyone who is planning to get pregnant, there are certain recommendations specifically aimed at obese women to improve pregnancy outcomes.
Please see the pre-pregnancy sub-pages for more info.