501 couples from Texas and Michigan between 2005 and 2009 were examined, until pregnancy or up to 1 year of trying to get pregnant, for the study. The women were between 18 and 44 years while the men were 18+years. The participants kept a journal recording their menstrual cycles, intercourse and home pregnancy test results. Those who participated were from the general population and not those undergoing treatment for infertility.
The researchers compared the average time it took the couples from the non-obese group to conceive to that of the couples in the obese group. They then calculated the probability that a couple would conceive using a statistical measure known as the fecundability odds ratio (FOR).
The research showed that obese couples took much longer time to conceive than the non-obese couples. Couples in the non-obese group had FOR of 1 while those in the obese group had FOR of 45 which means that it took 55% longer.
When other attributes affecting fertility such as smoking, age, cholesterol level and physical activity were taken into account, the ratio for the obese group went even lower with 59% longer time to get pregnant.
The study concluded that couples’ obesity may affect fertility and specialists may want to take couples’ weight status into account when counseling their clients about conceiving.
More on the study here.
Until we see each other again,