Challenges For Obese People Receiving Fertility Treatments

1651 words - 7 pages

Introduction
Obesity is a widespread epidemic and the associated illnesses, like hypertension, stroke and fatty liver, cost the society more and more money. In the USA for instance the prevalence of obesity among adults above 20 years increased from 13.4 in 1960 to 35.7 percent in 2010 [4].
At this modern time, there is growing demand from several sites for self-responsibility, especially regarding healthcare and even lifestyle. Lifestyle in particular is highly discussed, because certain lifestyles are associated with an increased risk of illness and the population as a whole is carrying the burden to pay for an intact healthcare system. To stick to the obesity example, in 2009, 9.1 % of the annual U.S. medical costs were obesity related [3].
Since lifestyle has a high impact on life expectancy and overall health of an individual, an unhealthy lifestyle, as being obese or smoking, might lead to more expenses for the insurances. This is a point which raises the question whether it is acceptable, that people with an unhealthy lifestyle, hence people that cost the insurances and the general population more money, are not paying higher prices compared to people with a more healthy lifestyle. Yet, it is of discussion to what degree obesity is one’s own misbehaviour. Psychological factors and heredity often play a great role in obesity. Is it really a misbehaviour or the obese merely “the slave of their own passions” [2]? If so, how much self-control can one expect from a ‘food addict’? Furthermore, the next question comes up, “What exactly is a healthy weight and from which point on overweight negatively influences one’s health?” [Beaufort].
Obese people are seen to be unhealthy compared to normal weight people. Among several risk factors contributing to cardiovascular disease and the metabolic syndrome (MetS), which leads to an attenuation of the overall medical costs in the last decades, obese people are also known to have a bad “reproductive potential through interference with hormonal and metabolic mechanisms”, which lower the chances of pregnancy by around 30% and increase miscarriage rate by around 30%. Children of obese mothers have higher chances to develop congenital abnormalities [1].
Obesity not only affects the health of an obese individual, but also the health of the eventual offspring. Starting with a negatively altered reproductive potential in both obese men and women. These significant alterations are caused by the influence of obesity on hormonal and metabolic mechanisms. In women, obesity leads to a less frequent ovulation and to reduced chances of conception. In male obesity, lower testosterone levels and other endocrine irregularities, higher scrotal temperature, and higher rates of erectile dysfunction are observed.
Obese men are significantly more likely to produce low quality sperm: a low amount or even absence of spermatozoa per ejaculation [1][2].
Because of all this, many obese ask for medical assisted reproduction...

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