IF you've piled on a few extra pounds in recent months you may be feeling out of sorts.
Weight gain can leave our jeans a little too tight and can also leave us lacking in confidence.
But experts have now claimed that piling on the pounds can also have a negative impact on our sex life.
Speaking to The Sun, Dr Sarah Welsh, gynaecology doctor and co-founder of HANX said that excess weight can pose a number of issues – especially when it comes to enjoying yourself between the sheets.
As well as this it could affect your fertility and could even raise your risk of developing vaginal infections.
Carrying extra weight can also make it harder for you to fight off infection.
This has become even clearer during the coronavirus pandemic as experts have claimed that obese people may have to stay at home and shield if a second wave hits the UK this winter.
Losing weight is beneficial for many reasons and below we highlight how excess weight can have a detrimental impact on your body.
1. Low libido
Dr Sarah said a healthy weight is the way to go if you want to feel confident in the bedroom.
"If you’re overweight, losing weight can help with your overall wellbeing including your sexual wellness.
"A healthy weight can boost your libido, make you feel comfortable and confident in yourself and also ensure your muscles and body are in the best condition to enjoy sex and the many, many positions to be discovered!"
2. Irregular periods
If you've put on weight or recently lost it then your periods many change.
This could mean lighter or heavier bleeding and in some cases women may even miss their periods all together.
Amy Stephens, MD, a doctor of obstetrics and gynaecology at the Cleveland Clinic said it's all down to your hormones.
"Fat itself can produce oestrogen which can cause hormonal imbalances that can affect the cycle.
“Irregular cycles do not cause weight gain. Weight gain can cause irregular cycles.”
INTIMINA’s gynaecologist Dr Shree Datta told The Sun that for some women, weight loss can change how frequent and heavy periods are.
3. Fertility issues
The NHS states that if you are overweight then the "best way to protect your health and your baby's wellbeing is to lose weight before you become pregnant."
Experts say that if you are at a healthy weight then you are more likely to be able to conceive naturally and you will also have less issues during your pregnancy that may occur due to excess weight.
Dr Sarah added: "An unhealthy weight can also lead to irregular periods and infertility so maintaining a healthy body is essential if you want to try for a baby.
"It also ensures you can fight infection and recover well from any illnesses."
Dr Shree added: "Having a raised BMI can affect the frequency and heaviness of your periods, and have an impact on your fertility.
"In many cases, fertility specialists will provide treatment once your BMI is below a certain point."
LloydsPharmacy pharmacist Anshu Kaura said hormonal imbalance is the reason women who are overweight struggle to conceive.
Speaking to the MailOnline she said: "Excess androgen oestrogen can affect women's menstrual cycle, which of course can in turn affect women's ability to become pregnant.
"Further to this, it is thought that one of the leading causes of infertility in women is presence of a hormone known as leptin produced by fatty cells."
She added that regulated leptin levels in the body are vital for a healthy reproductive system.
This is something that can be managed by having a healthy fat to muscle ratio in the body, she said.
If you're struggling with weight gain it could be that a yeast infection is wreaking havoc with your immune system.
Thrush is usually harmless but can be painful for women and for many this means less sex as this can also irritate the vagina.
Yeast infections thrive on sugar and use it as a source of fuel.
If you have a severe Candida infection then you may crave carbs and sweet treats – leading you to pile on the pounds, XtendLife reported.
5. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
Polycystic ovaries contain a large number of harmless follicles that are up to 8mm (approximately 0.3in) in size.
The follicles are underdeveloped sacs in which eggs develop.
In PCOS, these sacs are often unable to release an egg, which means ovulation does not take place.
It's difficult to know exactly how many women have PCOS, but it's thought to be very common, affecting about one in every five women in the UK.
Dr Sarah Jarvis, GP and Clinical Director, Patientaccess.com, says many women with PCOS will gain weight – but also struggle to lose it as well.
She previously said: "The relationship between PCOS and weight is complicated.
"Being overweight increases your chance of getting PCOS, but in some cases having PCOS can lead to weight gain, especially around your tummy.
"Many women with PCOS find it hard to lose weight, too."
Dr Shree added: "There’s also an association between having a raised BMI and poly cystic ovaries, which in itself can affect the regularity of your periods."
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