Eating disorders can lead to infertility? Eating disorder are devastating psychiatric illnesses marked by serious disturbances in eating behaviour and weight regulation.
If you are someone who is trying to conceive, and when the test, again and again, comes back negative, it can be severely disappointing. But, it is important to understand that if you have an eating disorder, conception may not come easy.
Eating disorders are devastating psychiatric illnesses marked by serious disturbances in eating behavior and weight regulation. These disorders have psychological, physical and emotional consequences as well as significant impact on reproductive health and thus affect fertility.
These disorders now a day is increasing in numbers in India. There are 2 sides of it- either you may have significant- weight loss by cutting too much of calories i.e. Anorexia Nervosa or may suffer from severs obesity by eating excessively i.e. Bulimia.
The severe weight loss caused by cutting too many calories is said to cause a decrease in the levels of hormones from the pituitary glands, which is necessary to keep the estrogen levels normal. When the estrogen levels are not as they are supposed to be, the ovulation does not take place, thus causing infertility.
Eating excessively is yet another form of it, which can cause infertility. When a young woman becomes obese, she might have high levels of the male hormone known as androgens. This hormone can cause an unusual menstrual cycle and even interfere with ovulation, which can lead to female infertility.
Unfortunately, most of the people are not aw_are of these consequences until they experience problems related to fertility.
If you are suffering from eating disorders such as Anorexia/ Bulimia, or excessive eating once you start experiencing severe weight loss or weight gain it will affect your regular periods.
Your periods may become scanty, severely delayed or may even stop leading to a condition known as amenorrhea i.e. absence of periods. In these situations hormonal imbalance will decrease menstruation and ovulation and thus your chances of getting pregnant.
With eating disorders, you may also develop psychological stress, such as social withdrawal, depression, perfectionism, etc. as well as Osteoporosis.
If you do get pregnant despite the eating disorder, it can be a high risk, chance of pregnancy your body will need more nutrients, such as; vitamins and minerals, proteins, carbohydrates, fats, etc., for the proper growth of the baby. However, when the criteria is not fulfilled, you may put your baby in danger.
The risks associated with pregnant women who have an ongoing eating disorders are; malnutrition, heart problems, depression, diabetes, and premature labor. The risks that can affect the baby are; premature birth, low birth weight, problems with breathing, problems with feeding, and even stillbirth.
So, if you have an eating disorder and want to get pregnant, it is time to visit a fertility clinic. Fortunately, once you overcome your eating disorders and achieve your ideal body weight, over a period of 6 months, your menstrual cycle will also become normal.
A healthy diet and a healthy body weight will ensure the good health of your baby. However, make sure you consult your healthcare provider in order to help you battle this disease.
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