Study: Obese Women Have Lower Risk for Endometriosis and Infertility

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obese pregnancyBy Staff Blogger

Findings in a recent study showed that women who were obese had a much lower risk for endometriosis. The study followed 116,000 women. They found out that morbidly obese women had a 39% less chance of developing endometriosis than their skinnier counterparts.

Endometriosis is a painful ailment where the lining grows outside of the uterus and causes painful periods. Endometriosis has also been linked to infertility.

Dr. Divya Shah and her colleagues at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics conducted the study. From 1989 to 2011, 5,500 of the women had developed endometriosis.

They found, at the age of 18, height and weight were huge factors in whether the patient would develop endometriosis or not. They also found that women with a 40 BMI had a 62% less chance of developing it. Dr. Shah is not saying that we should all go out and gain a bunch of weight to reduce our risk of endometriosis, but it is still an interesting find.

One group of women that are typically infertile are women who have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), but they rarely develop endometriosis. This could be because PCOS causes significant weight gain.

The signs of endometriosis may come early in a woman’s life, but they often change their eating habits because they feel sick all the time, so it doesn’t fully rear its ugly head until later in life. Dr. Shah states that it often can take up to a decade after getting painful periods to get a diagnosis of endometriosis.

Studies are still continuing to try and figure out the link between lean women and the development of endometriosis. Dr. Shah hopes that one day it will lead to earlier diagnosis.

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