Impact of obesity on women's health

Fertil Steril. 2009 May;91(5):1712-6. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2008.02.141. Epub 2008 Apr 14.


Objective: To review the impacts of obesity on women's reproductive health and fertility.

Design: Literature review.

Setting: Academic medical center.

Patient(s): Forty articles are referenced. The number of patients evaluated in each of the studies varies from 33 to 213,208.

Intervention(s): Articles were identified from an Ovid/Medline search using the search terms obesity, dysfunctional uterine bleeding, contraception, miscarriage, infertility, and weight loss.

Main outcome measure(s): The impacts of obesity on reproductive health and fertility.

Result(s): Obesity is associated with early puberty, aberrant menstrual patterns, decreased contraceptive efficacy, ovulatory disorders, an increased miscarriage rate, and worse assisted reproductive technology outcomes. Losing weight can ameliorate many of these problems.

Conclusion(s): Obesity is one of the most significant causes of morbidity and mortality in the U.S. Providers must educate patients about the impacts of obesity on reproductive health and fertility.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural

MeSH terms

  • Contraception
  • Female
  • Fertility*
  • Humans
  • Menstruation
  • Obesity / physiopathology*
  • Puberty
  • Reproductive Medicine*
  • Reproductive Techniques, Assisted
  • Women's Health*