(Closed) Overweight friend and infertility

posted 6 years ago in TTC
Post # 77
2358 posts
Buzzing bee

@lealorali:  my friend is obese and every doctor has told her so.  Some have suggested surgery.  So yes they do say something and this is better left to them.  If she asks you to help her on her journey to weight loss then that is different 

Post # 78
3461 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

I’d expect her doctor said something already to her.  All you can do it model good behavior (e.g. “I am aiming to lose 10 pounds before we start trying to conceive, so I’m in the best health I can be”). 

After years of trying, I suggested to my sister that maybe her weight was the reason she wasn’t getting pregnant.  She has the opposite issue.  She weighs close to 90 pounds, definitely under 95, and is 5’2″.  She did not take it terrifically well, and she’s my sister.  Actually, I don’t remember exactly what I said to her (it was not a direct correlation statement, it more an encouragement to eat more), but I heard second hand that my mom mentioned a direct correlation to my sister at Christmas and boom, you did not want to be my poor friend who was in the house at the same time.

Post # 79
2522 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

@lealorali:  Doctors, particularly OBGYNs, would say something about being overweight and especially obese, if you’re going in there asking/telling about reproductive stuff.

Post # 80
2522 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

@artichokey:  As someone with PCOS, I’m going to encourage you to talk to your doctor about metformin especially if your blood sugar is near pre-diabetes. 

Post # 81
1393 posts
Bumble bee

@beekiss:  I’ve been on metformin before. I prefer to keep my levels in control with excerise. But thank you.

Post # 82
11324 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2011

I would aaaaabsolutely not say anything. It is not your place. 

First, I seriously doubt she is unaware that she is obese and that it is unhealthy and that it may affect her fertility. I am also pretty overweight and I don’t talk to my friends about it because why? I don’t need advise on losing weight. I know how, I’ve just mostly been too lazy to do so. And I’m not going to complain about my weight because there is nothing more annoying than someone complaining about something that is within their power to control. 

Second, obsesity does not = infertility. A lot of obese people get pregnant very easily. It COULD be her problem. But it could just as easily not be her problem. 

Third, I am sure her doctor will discuss these things with her. I can’t imagine any doctor would prescribe some invasive and expensive fertility treatment before telling a person that losing weight may well fix the issue. 

Post # 83
2853 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

@lealorali:  I think any good doctor would, yes. My doc didn’t mention my weight at my pre-conception appointment (I’m healthy as a horse – I eat well, exercise), but DID mention it when I went back to her 12 months later to say that my cycles were whacky after my miscarriage, and I didn’t think I could get pregnant on my own again with my cycles the way they were. She immediately told me that losing 10lbs COULD help regulate my cycles, and then referred me to a fertility specialist, after sending me for a ton of bloodwork and an ultrasound to check my ovaries. She said to try to lose some weight before my time on the referral waitlist was over. Luckily I got pregnant a couple of months later while waiting to see the other doc. After spending time on the TTC boards for a while, I also saw a few other girls who were considered “overweight” get told the same things by their docs in regards to fertility. Some were also recommended to start a gluten-free low-carb diet.

I’d say her regular doc MIGHT NOT have said anything to her about her weight, but if she goes in for further testing/help the first thing they would look at/discuss would be her weight, if she’s so obviously overweight. Probably her diet too. I’m also assuming though that anyone who has been TTC for that long with no success has also been doing some homework and research on possible reasons for having had no pregnancies in that time, and she’s likely come across info on the web regarding the possible correlations between reproductive health and weight/diet. Just because she hasn’t discussed this with you doesn’t mean she doesn’t know.
I understand where you’re coming from – you just want to help. I think this is just one of those situations where telling the truth might not be the best policy though!

Post # 85
748 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

@lealorali:  Ehhhhh..pregnancy and infertility is one of those areas that unless I’m their partner..I would just keep my mouth shut. Unless she asked my advice, then I’d suggest healthy (not weight loss) alternatives. Infertility is VERY sensitive, weight is also super sensitive, combine the two and it’s a powder keg.

I’d zip it.

Post # 86
1684 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

In our society, being overweight is probably brought to her attention on a daily basis.

Let her fight her own fertility battle.  Anything you say on the subject will likely be taken as being critical and unsympathetic.

I know you have your friends best interests at heart, but what she really needs from you is an ear and hug.  Let her doctors talk to her about lifestyle changes.  Just give her unconditional frienship and love during this difficult period.

Post # 87
269 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

I am in my second round of IVF and would cut my friend out of my life if they gave me their “medical” reasons for why I am not getting pregnant.  If she is constantly talking about it and you are just looking for a way to support her you could make her a little care package with a few books, prenatal pills, a pretty water bottle and maybe a few personal things. Just give her a little something to show her you care and understand this is overwhelming but you have her back.



Post # 88
1723 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 1998

@lealorali:  Absolutely they’d say something.

I’ve never been to a doctor who didn’t say something about my weight…even when I was *barely* overweight and I didn’t broach the subject.

Most doctors I’ve seen tend to auto-conclude that I must have high blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, etc. They see the fat and, as a means of justifying it, automatically jump to, “You’re unhealthy!” The frightening thing is – even when they have paperwork in front of them saying otherwise.

There are some circumstances where I think doctors might be more inclined to skip the issue – i.e., if you’ve been at a stable weight for a long time, or it’s something they can’t at all blame on the weight (colds, for example).

But past a certain point – I’d say around 40 pounds overweight for women – it seems it’s a constant focus of discussion.

If a woman’s 10 or even 20 pounds overweight, a doctor’s unlikely to mention it. For one, that’s such a small amount of excess weight it’s truly unlikely to cause any problems – at least statistically significant ones, if the person’s only a bit overweight and doesn’t have other co-morbid conditions.

Post # 91
126 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: December 2019 - City, State

OK, but no matter what you think of her BMI, it turns out that’s not the actual issue and the doctor isn’t overly concerned. Please, for pete’s sake, stay out of it with her, especially since it sounds like it wasn’t even the cause of her infertility.


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