07 Mar Am I too skinny to get pregnant?
Often women in the clinic will say “my doctor wants me to put on weight to help me to get pregnant but I cannot seem to put on any weight – what should I do?”
As an Acupuncturist and Chinese herbalist who has worked with women’s health, and in particular, fertility for over 7 years, I believe it is definitely possible for thin women to get pregnant as long as two crucial factors are present!
Firstly, eat a nutritionally balanced diet that has plenty of good fats, proteins and good quality carbohydrates such as vegetables. There is simply no point in trying a junk food diet to put on weight if this is your genetic make up, it will only make your insides sick! This also won’t beneficially support your body for baby!
Secondly, but more importantly, is that you have a regular menstrual cycle and enough endometrial lining for implantation to occur. Women need a good blood supply to the uterus in order to have a thick and plushy endometrial lining in readiness for implantation. Studies suggest that pregnancy rates increase from 53% with an endometrial thickness > 9mm through to 77% among women with lining of > 16mm in IVF embryo transfers.
From a Chinese Medicine perspective, things that can affect fertility in low weight women are:
- Too much exercise – As you exercise small tears in the muscle fibres occur, which need to be repaired by blood! By directing the extra blood (up to 25%) from the reproductive organs to the muscles can result in impaired endothelium-dependent vasodilation, which is often seen in female athletes.
- Too much stress – Our bodies are not designed for the chronic stress of our lives. From a Chinese Medicine perspective, emotions do not operate separate from our organs. Overthinking and overstressing causes blood depletion in the heart and liver organ systems.
- Not eating enough blood tonic food such as red meat and leafy green vegetables.
- Poor digestion – If your body cannot break down those ingredients into nutrients that the body cannot utilize
So moral of the story here is make the most of what you have! Get healthy and make sure your looking after that endometrial lining. For more information and fertility assistance, come in and see us in the clinic.
About the author
Lauren Surridge is the Acupuncturist, Chinese Herbalist and owner of Balanced Life Health Care. Lauren has a bachelor of Chinese Medicine and specialises in Women’s health, gynaecology and infertility. She has a passion in educating women in the basic lifestyle changes that they can make at home to improve their health, hormonal balance and fertility. To find out more about Lauren click here and to make an appointment to see Lauren at her clinic in Ferntree Gully click here