Did you know about 7 million women with an eating disorder often suffer from infertility?
If you are trying to conceive and when the test, again & again comes negative, it may be a disappointing moment for you. But, you have to understand that if you have an eating disorder, conception may not come easy.
Worried? You should not, in this article we explain you everything regarding eating disorder!
Firstly, Get To Know About Eating Disorder!!
The eating disorder is disastrous psychiatric illnesses marked by severe disturbances in eating behavior and weight regulation. These disorders have psychological, physical and emotional consequences as well as the serious impact on reproductivity and thus affect the fertility of both men & women.
Categories of Eating Disorders!!
Have a look at below of types of eating disorders-
• Anorexia Nervosa- Weight loss by cutting too much of calories, doing excessive exercise, and intake of less food.
Weight loss by cutting too much of calories, doing excessive exercise, and intake of less food.
• Bulimia Nervosa– Intake of excess food due to having the feeling of always hungry and it leads to obesity.
• Binge Eating disorder– Eat more food even when you’re not hungry, and you may continue eating even long after you’re uncomfortably full.
• Pica- Eating nonfood items, such as soap, cloth, talcum powder or dirt at least 1 month.
• Rumination Disorder- It is a type of disorder where persistently regurgitating food after eating. Sometimes regurgitated food is reswallowed or spit which may result in malnutrition.
• Avoidant Food Intake Disorder- This disorder is characterized by failing to fulfill your minimum daily nutrition requirements due to lack of interest in eating and avoid food because of certain features, such as color, smell or taste.
What Causes Eating Disorders!!
The exact cause of eating disorders is still unknown to all. However, according to research, there may be some reasons lies behind it, such as:
• Genetic Problem: Siblings or parents with an eating disorder may be the reason to develop an eating disorder in you, too.
• Psychological And Emotional Health: People with eating disorders may have psychological and emotional problems too which may lead to low self-esteem, perfectionism, and impulsive behavior.
• Society: Success and worth are often equated with being thin in nature.
How It Affects Fertility?
‘Now-a-days it is increasing in numbers in India.’
• The severe weight loss is said to cause a decrease in the levels of hormones from the pituitary glands, which is necessary to keep the estrogen levels normal. When the estrogen levels are not as they are supposed to be, the ovulation does not take place, which leads to infertility.
• More often, eating excessively is yet another form of eating disorder, which can also cause infertility. When a young woman becomes obese, she might have high levels of the male hormone i.e. androgens. This hormone can cause an unusual menstrual cycle and interfere with ovulation, which causing infertility.
Unfortunately, most of the people are not aware of that until they experience problems related to fertility!
Pregnancy Can Be Really Stressing!!
If you are suffering from eating disorders such as Anorexia or Bulimia, as you know it will affect your regular periods. Your periods may severely be delayed or may even stop leading to a condition known as amenorrhea i.e. absence of periods. In these situations, the hormonal imbalance will decrease ovulation and thus your chances of getting pregnant too.
But If You Still Get Pregnant…
It can be a high risk, as your body will then need increased amounts of nutrients, such as carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals, to support the growth of a baby. However, when the criterion is not fulfilled, you may put your baby as well as yourself in danger.
A pregnant woman with an eating disorder may face several risk factors, such as-
• Heart problems
• Premature labor
And the risks that can affect the baby are-
• Premature birth
• Low birth weight
• Problems with breathing
• Problems with feeding
Scared? Don’t be, check out the preventive ways!
‘The good news is that women eating disorders such as anorexia, irregular periods will usually resume within 6 months of achieving ideal body weight.’ says Berens.
Although there’s no sure way to prevent eating disorders, here are some strategies to develop healthy-eating behaviors:
• Encourage themselves to have healthy food habits and avoid dieting.
• Talk to them about the risks of unhealthy eating choices.
• Cultivate and reinforce them about a healthy body image in your children, whatever their shape or size. Don’t criticize your own body in front of them.
• Visit a fertility clinic to overcome the eating disorders and achieve ideal body weight, over a period of 6 months.
A healthy diet and a healthy body weight will ensure the good health of you as well as your dear ones!
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