Weighty Matters Concerning Fertility

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Attain Fertility hosts Weight Loss & Wellness Wednesdays to Promote Healthy Lifestyles and Fertility

The first month of the New Year is now behind us: How are those resolutions going? One of the most common resolutions people make is to lose weight and get healthier. This is a great way to begin a new year and important for everyone. It is particularly important for women who are dealing with fertility issues and hoping to become pregnant through some type of Assisted Reproductive Technology (A.R.T.). But how can we be more realistic about the goals that we set?

AttainFertility.com is hosting a Weight Loss & Wellness Wednesday blog on their site through the end of March that will address a number of health and wellness issues directly related to fertility issues. A recent blog “What’s Your Ideal Fertility Weight?” addressed issues of weight and how they affect a woman’s chances of becoming pregnant.

The Weight Loss & Wellness Wednesday blog was conceived by Stephanie Himel-Nelson, the Community Manager for Attain Fertility communities, including its blog and Facebook page. “I came up with the concept while thinking about New Year's resolutions," she explains. “I'm not a huge fan of resolutions because I think that we all aim too high with major life changes that aren't sustainable all at once. Why pretend, even to ourselves, that we're to lose 20 pounds, begin training for a marathon, start volunteering 30 hours a week, eliminate plastic from our lives and start composting? All in the month of January! Let's face it, real change is gradual, not instantaneous. Weight Loss & Wellness Wednesday is about gradually making long-term changes towards leading a healthier life.”

Taking control of your weight, knowing your BMI (body mass index) and learning the stressors that may cause you to either head for the cookie jar instead of the fruit bowl or lose your appetite altogether are important steps you can take to make sure you are as healthy and fit as possible while trying to get pregnant. BMI is a measure of body fat that is based on a person’s height and weight. Being overweight and underweight both come with their own issues. Ideal fertility weight should be kept within the ‘normal’ BMI range of 19 to 24.

BMI Categories are:

  •      Underweight = less than 18.5
  •      Normal weight = 18.5-24.9
  •      Overweight = 25-29.9
  •      Obesity = BMI of 30 or greater

Being overweight by no means implies that you will not have a baby. However, research does show that overweight women have a more difficult time conceiving for a number of reasons.

  •     Being overweight may cause the body to produce too much estrogen which often leads to trouble conceiving
  •     There is a high incidence of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) in women who are overweight or obese which leads to reduced odds of conceiving
  •     Women who are overweight or obese face a greater chance of complications when having surgery for infertility leading to reduced odds of conceiving
  •     Assisted reproductive technology procedures like in vitro fertilization do not work as well on obese women as they do on women who maintain an ideal fertility weight.

Women who are underweight with a low BMI may also find getting pregnant more difficult. Women who are too thin most commonly have issues with hormone levels and producing too little estrogen.

There are many things that women and men feel are out of their control when dealing with fertility issues. Weight control and healthy exercise are two actions that can give a person a sense of renewed control, as well as renewed vitality and good health. If weight is an issue, whether underweight or over, it’s always good to talk to a doctor for advice and to make sure the actions you are taking are the best for your unique issues.

Other topics that will be discussed on Weight Loss & Wellness Wednesdays include:

  •     Fitness and starting an exercise plan
  •     Stress relief and intimacy
  •     Sleep and rest
  •     The PCOS diet

Along with the Weight Loss & Wellness Wednesday blog, members of the AttainFertility.com blog community online and on Facebook are sharing their own stories and creating a network of support for each other. From posting information about their own personal weight issues to sharing their successes and encouraging each other to ‘keep going’ – their communities are an active resource for information, support and hope.

About IntegraMed America, Inc.
IntegraMed is a leader in developing, marketing and managing specialty outpatient healthcare facilities, with a current focus on the fertility and vein care markets. IntegraMed supports its provider networks with clinical and business information systems, marketing and sales, facilities and operations management, finance and accounting, human resources, legal, risk management, quality assurance, and fertility treatment financing programs.

Attain Fertility® Centers, an IntegraMed Specialty, is the nation’s largest fertility center network, with 14 company-managed partner centers and 26 affiliate centers, comprising over 130 locations across 34 states and the District of Columbia. Nearly one of every four IVF procedures in the U.S. is performed in an Attain Fertility Network practice.

Vein Clinics of America, an IntegraMed Specialty, is the leading provider of specialty vein care services in the U.S. The IntegraMed Vein Clinic network operates 41 centers across 14 states, principally in the Midwest and Southeast.

For more information about IntegraMed please visit: integramed.com for investor background, attainfertility.com for fertility, or veinclinics.com for vein care.

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Marcia Clark
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