Obesity and reproductive function

Obstet Gynecol Clin North Am. 2012 Dec;39(4):479-93. doi: 10.1016/j.ogc.2012.09.002.


Obesity is associated with multiple adverse reproductive outcomes, but the mechanisms involved are largely unknown. Obesity has been referred to as a "complex system," defined as a system of heterogeneous parts interacting in nonlinear ways to influence the behavior of the parts as a whole. Human reproduction is also a complex system; hence the difficulty in identifying the mechanisms linking obesity and adverse reproductive function. This review discusses the adverse reproductive outcomes associated with obesity and the mechanisms involved and concludes with a discussion of public health policy with respect to the treatment of infertility in obese women.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Spontaneous / epidemiology
  • Abortion, Spontaneous / etiology
  • Abortion, Spontaneous / prevention & control*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Epidemics
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Health Policy
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infertility, Female / etiology
  • Infertility, Female / physiopathology
  • Infertility, Female / prevention & control*
  • Obesity / complications*
  • Obesity / physiopathology
  • Obesity / prevention & control*
  • Preconception Care*
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects / epidemiology
  • Public Health
  • Weight Loss*