Day 4: Eating Disorders Halt Pregnancy

25 February 2010, 05:00

Having an eating disorder can lower the chance of you getting pregnant.

It's now day 4 in our week-long report on Eating Disorder Awareness Week and today Heart has been speaking to a Hertfordshire-based fertility doctor to find out the effects of anorexia and bulimia on fertility:

Andy Glew is the Laboratory Director at the Herts and Essex Fertility Centre:

"There's all sort of issues that cause infertility, but of course if you've got an eating disorder that will be an issue because just having a good wellbeing and good health if very important for a number of issues, there's lots of supplements that are required and if they are missing in any way that will have an effect on your infertility.

"If there was a severe eating disorder, maybe if you’re seriously overweight or underweight, then these will have an effect - you won’t be able to ovulate normally and you’re not going to have nice regular cycles. So all these things will affect your chance of conceiving."

To listen to the full interview with Andy Glew click here

One in five couples has problems with fertility, and eating disorders factor as one of the main reasons why women struggle to conceive.

However not only can eating disorders halt pregnancies, even if you have had an eating disorder in the past and have recovered from it, there’s still a risk imposed on your unborn baby.

Once pregnant your baby counts on you for all its nutritional needs and will take as much vitamins, minerals and calories as it requires from mum.

Anorexia, bulimia and binge-eating can cause babies to be underweight, underdeveloped and malnourished. They can also develop respiratory illnesses and low Apgar scores, and are 6 times more likely to develop diabetes later in life.

If you have had an eating disorder and want advice on getting pregnant, contact the Herts and Fertility Clinic at 01992 785 060 or for more information go to