ABC 20 Streaming LiveWeb WatchSpotlight 20Pump PatrolRaw NewsYour Voice News SurveyIn the Kitchen


TONIGHT: Evening showers and thunderstorms possible. Clearing overnight. Low: 50. Winds: Southeast 10-15 mph.

FRIDAY: Mostly sunny and a bit breezy. High: 75. ...

more »

Advertise with us!

Search Results

The following is an archived video story. The text content of that video story is available below for reference. The original video has been deleted and is no longer available.

SPECIAL REPORT: Obesity and Infertility

"When I went into the fertility process, obviously it wasn't healthy for me as an adult to be overweight and no less try and get pregnant and carry a child and be obese,” Jessica Burke of New Berlin said.

But, look at 36-year-old Jessica now. Hard to believe just two years ago she weighed 100 pounds more. Like a lot of women, she underwent in-vitro fertilization. Today, she has a 2-year-old son, Finnegan.

“Once I had him, it made me want to change myself, to be more healthy.," Jessica said. "I was getting older, and I chose to go a drastic route."

That's when she decided to undergo gastric bypass surgery.

Jessica battled a weight problem her entire life. It’s a problem that poses serious challenges when it comes to conceiving a baby.

Dr. Ricardo Loret de Mola, the chairman of the SIU Fertility and IVF Center in Springfield, said weight directly affects fertility.

"Women with obesity can have a variety of hormonal abnormalities," Loret de Mola said. "For example, women with excess weight can't ovulate on a regular basis and frequently that interferes with conception. In addition, women who are obese have eggs that have abnormalities."

Jessica admits she was a morbidly obese mother-to-be. She knew she needed to take control.

"Being pregnant and overweight, it was hard on me, hard on my heart, hard on my breathing, especially as the baby grew,” Jessica said.

38-year-old Michelle Eads of Springfield can relate.

"My doctor said if I would lose some weight, it would help tremendously,” Michelle said.

To make matters worse, while battling her weight problems, Michelle was also diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. It's a hormonal disorder, common in overweight women, that leads to cysts on the ovaries. The disorder makes it difficult to get pregnant. After several rounds of infertility treatments, she gave birth to her miracle baby, Carter.

"When you look at the effect of age and fertility, women lose a little a year," Loret de Mola said. "When you lose weight and your BMI goes from 37-38 to under 35, you get a 50 percent increase in your fertility."

It's not just women. Men's weight affects their ability to have kids too.
Fat cells convert testosterone into estrogen.

"Men are equally affected," Loret de Mola said. "If they're morbidly obese, they can have difficulty with erections, ejaculating, problems with a low libido."

So the bottom line--lose the weight.

Jessica had to do it the hard way, but if she had it to do all over again, she wouldn't change a thing.

Aside from difficulty conceiving, overweight women are at risk for gestational diabetes, hypertension during pregnancy (known as preeclampsia) and sometimes induced labor. Experts estimate by 2030, 42 percent of Americans will be overweight.

  • WICS :: News - Traffic


    Get up to the minute traffic reports from WICS NewsChannel 20!
  • WICS :: News - Road Trippin News

    Road Trippin News

    Missed a Road Trippin segment that ...
  • WICS :: News - Health Beat

    Health Beat

    Featuring news segment videos about health.
  • WICS :: News - In The Kitchen

    In The Kitchen

    Watch the area's best chefs whip up their tastiest creations. See them in action and get their recipes to try at home. 
  • WICS :: News - Behind The Headlines

    Behind The Headlines

    Get Behind the Headlines commentary with Mark Hyman.
  • WICS :: News - Ready, Set, Shred

    Ready, Set, Shred

    In an exclusive eight-week investigation, ABC Newschannel 20 digs deep into the Springfield police document shredding scandal.
  • WICS :: News - Pay it Forward

    Pay it Forward

    Pay It Forward... because sometimes people need a little extra help.
  • WICS :: News - Ask the Expert

    Ask the Expert

    Do you need expert advice? Here's your chance to ask our experts!
  • WICS :: News - Work Out With 20

    Work Out With 20

    Kickstart your week with a new fitness tip every Monday from ABC Newschannel 20's Natalie Sparacio and the expert instructors at FitClub in Springfield.

  • WICS :: News - Your Voice. Your Future.

    Your Voice. Your Future.

    As the country faces challenges from federal budget issues to jobs and national debt, your voice is critical to the future.
  • WICS :: News - Road Trippin

    Road Trippin

    Come Road Trippin' with us! Check out all the great attractions in your area!
  • WICS :: News - Pump Patrol

    Pump Patrol

    Check out the ABC Newschannel 20's Pump Patrol to find the lowest prices, report low prices and get gas saving tips.

  • WICS :: News - Web Watch

    Web Watch

    Here's where to find the links you hear about on the news.
  • WICS :: News - Spotlight 20

    Spotlight 20

    Local organizations and community leaders tell us about events in central Illinois.
  • WICS :: News - Raw News

    Raw News

    Watch extra news footage, full interviews, and extended stories that didn't make it on air.  "Raw News" may include content that is not suitable for children and is intended for mature audiences only.
  • WICS :: News - On the Farm

    On the Farm

    Whether it's topical segments on what's happening on local farms to commodity prices, we have the world of central Illinois agriculture covered.
  • WICS :: News - Fugitive Files

    Fugitive Files

  • WICS :: News - Crime Stoppers

    Crime Stoppers

    CrimeStoppers needs your help. If you have any information regarding a featured crime or any other criminal act, call (217) 788-8427.
  • WICS :: News - Home Room

    Home Room

    When's the next school board meeting? Where's the basketball game? What's for lunch today? Do we have a snow day tomorrow? We have all the information you need for a successful school year--no pencil or ...
  • WICS :: News - No Text Zone

    No Text Zone

    Texting while driving kills thousands of people each year. Many more are seriously injured.  Keep central Illinois roads safe by taking the "No Text Zone" pledge.
  • WICS :: News - Business News

    Business News

    Stay up-to-date on the biggest business stories from around the nation.
  • WICS :: News - Pet of the Week

    Pet of the Week

    The cutest video you'll see anywhere! You won't be able to resist these adorable friends who need someone to love them.
  • WICS :: News - Cruisin' Illinois

    Cruisin' Illinois

    Get your motor running! Find out about the latest events and activities for central Illinois motorcycle enthusiasts.
  • WICS :: News - Illinois Central

    Illinois Central

    Every week Illinois Central brings you the stories about the people in central Illinois. From our weekly Cruisin' Illinois segment, which features motorcycle culture, to the arts and everything in between, ...
  • WICS :: News - Waste Watch

    Waste Watch

    How are your tax dollars being spent? Waste Watch tracks whether local, state and federal governments are using your money wisely...or wasting it.
  • WICS :: News - Washington Times

    Washington Times

    Politics, Breaking News, US and World News.
  • WICS :: News - Health Care Reform

    Health Care Reform

    The Supreme Court ruling to uphold the Affordable Care Act sparked a new battle. Check here daily for the latest developments, locally and across the country.

more »

Tonight on WICS

10:00 - ABC Newschannel 20 Nightside

Complete Schedule »

WICS Pay It Forward
WICS News Team
Illinois Central
Sunrise Team
WICS Storm Team