How do weight and age play into preconception?

Weight and age are important factors in preconception. Being overweight and being underweight both can cause ovulation problems. Maintaining a healthy weight helps improve your chances of getting pregnant and helps women to better manage weight gain while they are pregnant, according to WomensHealth.govOff Site Icon.

Age also plays an important role in preconception health, according to the National Institutes of HealthOff Site Icon. Becoming pregnant while still a teenager often causes the mother to develop high blood pressure and anemia (a lack of healthy red blood cells). There is also a higher risk of low birth weight and early labor.

Becoming pregnant for the first time after age 35 also increases pregnancy risks, according to, including:

  • A cesarean delivery instead of a natural birth
  • Complications during delivery, including excessive bleeding during labor
  • Genetic disorders in the infant, such as Down syndrome
  • Labor that does not progress like it should
  • Long labor, lasting more than 20 hours

It is important to plan a visit with your doctor to talk about how your weight and your age could affect your pregnancy. Preconception is the best time to have this conversation so your doctor can help you prepare yourself to help your baby grow and develop in a healthy way during pregnancy.

Talk to your doctor also for more information the role of age and weight in preconception.

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