An eating disorder is a cluster of conditions that is characterized by abnormal eating habits that involves eating less or excessively. This as we all know can be detrimental to one’s physical and mental health.  Aside from causing numerous health problems, eating disorders can negatively affect women of childbearing age.  Disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia can bring problems to couples trying to get a chance at conception, women who are already pregnant and even those who are not planning to get pregnant anytime soon.

A recent study done by researchers in the University College London involved a survey of 11,000 pregnant women, 500 of which have history of anorexia and bulimia. The study states that those women with history of eating disorders are more likely to have fertility problems, pregnancies that are unplanned and negative feelings towards having a baby than women with no such history.

Researchers also found out that:

  • 6 percent of the women who had eating disorders sought fertility treatment, while only 2.7 of those without an eating disorder consulted a fertility doctor. This only shows that if you have had an eating disorder in the past, you are more likely to seek infertility cure and treatment.
  • 41 percent of the women who have a current or past eating disorders reported that their pregnancies are unplanned. This is a significant number compared to only 28 percent on other women.
  • Furthermore, women with an eating disorder history are more than likely to consider parenthood and being a mother a big personal sacrifice. They report negative feelings such as being unhappy about their current pregnancy.

The most significant finding of the study is the high rate of unplanned pregnancies. In several cases, women with eating disorders are unable to ovulate. Furthermore, these women have irregular, infrequent or no menstrual periods at all. Of course, conception will be more difficult in these conditions but it is not impossible or even uncommon.

Extra support for these women with past and current eating disorders is important before conception and pregnancy. It is also vital for these women to discuss their experience with eating disorders with their health care providers.

Related posts:

  1. Too Thin To Conceive: A Look At Pregnancy Eating Disorders
  2. Pregnancy Eating Disorders
  3. Natural Methods Versus Going to a Fertility Specialist
  4. A Look at Autoimmune Disorders and Pregnancy
  5. I’m Pregnant and Anorexic: How Eating Disorder Can Affect My Pregnancy Weight Gain

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