Over weight and obesity are known to adversely affect health and are associated with many reproductive maladies including infertility, pregnancy loss, and other obstetrical and neonatal problems. A recent study from 3 IVF Centers in Spain reported at the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) found that losing excess weight before IVF improved the chances of a successful pregnancy. The study involved 10,000 egg donation treatment cycles. Egg donors were healthy and of normal weight for height, while egg recipients had different weights categorized according to their Body Mass Indices (BMI). BMI is a measure based on a person’s height and weight, to measure body fat.
The chances of successful embryo implantation, clinical pregnancy (detection of fetal heart beat), and live birth were higher in women with normal weight (BMI 19-25) compared to obese women (BMI>30). Obesity lowered rates of implantation by 23%, clinical pregnancy by 19%, and live birth by 27%. Dr. Jose Bellver, the presenter of this study was quoted in a news release, “The clinical evidence is now strong enough for implementing preconception health plans for obese patients considering assisted reproduction. The control of excess weight, especially through lifestyle interventions should be mandatory not only for improving reproductive and obstetrical outcomes, but also for reducing costs derived from the greater consumption of drugs in IVF, failed treatments, maternal and neonatal complications, and metabolic and non-metabolic diseases in the offspring.”
This study and others like it have important implications for the more than one-third of Americans who are obese especially for those needing IVF.
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