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Infertility & Eating Disorders

Underweight or overweight women have a significantly lower probability of conceiving.

Women with eating disorders like anorexia, compulsive overeating and bulimia often have difficulty becoming pregnant and carrying to term. Infertility issues can arise from the menstrual abnormalities can make it difficult for women with eating disorders to conceive. Studies have shown that overweight or underweight women have a more difficult time getting pregnant then women at, or close to, their ideal body mass index (BMI). According to one study, 17% of patients seeking help from an infertility clinic had a recognizable eating disorder. Women who purge themselves regularly also have been shown to have difficulty with conception. This is further complicated by the fact many fertility experts believe that psychological conditions like anxiety and depression – which commonly correlate with eating disorders – can lead to infertility.

The following symptoms that women with eating disorders experience are commonly associated with pregnancy and infertility:

  • Menstrual abnormalities
  • Amenorrhea
  • Ovarian Failure
  • Diminishment of ovaries
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Reduced Libido
  • Increased risk of hypertension for mother
  • Non-conducive uterine environment for implantation
  • Miscarriages
  • Oligomenorrhea
  • Increased postpartum depression
  • Increased failure to thrive during child's first year
  • Hyperemesis gravidarum
  • Insufficient lactation
  • Newborn feeding problems
  • Increased neonatal morbidity
  • Lower APGAR scores
  • Inadequate maternal weight
  • Low birth weights for infants
  • Small size fetus for gestational period
  • Breach presentation
  • Increase in cesarean deliveries
  • Perinatal mortality
  • Premature births

Recovery is possible with the right treatment. At Rader Programs we address the problems associated with eating disorders and infertility. Women can therefore often experience a healthy pregnancy and childbirth.