Heavier women less likely to have IVF success
In a recent article for the Fertility and Sterility Journal, Luke et al shared their study findings that the odds of an unsuccessful IVF cycle were significantly higher for women who are overweight.
By Louise-Anne Geddes, Mindful Mum, updated 2nd September 2011
The researchers had access to information from 152,500 fertility cycle treatments carried out between 2007 and 2008 at 361 different centres. The study found that overweight or obese women were not only more inclined to have an unsuccessful cycle, but that they were also at a higher risk of miscarriage when they did become pregnant.
Different reasons for infertility
The study researchers also noted in their findings that heavy and thinner women have different factors which affect infertility. Women of a normal weight who were involved in the study tended to have higher rates of endometriosis, whereas polycystic ovary syndrome was more common in women who were heavier.
Dr. Howard McClamrock, an infertility specialist at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore said to Reuters Health that ‘even a little bit of weight loss helps’ for overweight women trying for a baby.
Tips on Losing Weight Before IVF
Mindful Mum fertility expert Lisa Marsh offers this advice.
“Even a small amount of weight loss can have a significant impact on a woman’s chance of conceiving, because excess body fat inhibits the production of hormones vital to ovulation. A healthy weight is also essential to a healthy pregnancy, as excess weight can increase your chances of high blood pressure, gestational diabetes, miscarriage and/or difficulty in childbirth. If you are trying to attain a healthy weight in the lead-up to IVF:
- Check with your Doctor to determine the safest and healthiest weight or Body Mass Index score;
- Consult a nutritionist to ensure that your diet plan includes all of the essential nutrients to support conception and pregnancy.
- Replace high calorie soft drinks, alcohol, sugary cereals and snacks and animal fats with high-nutrient, unprocessed food and drinks, such as low-fat milk, avocado, smoked salmon on high-fiber crisp bread, fresh vegetables and fruit;
- Exercise consistently and moderately to burn calories, maintain fitness and produce endorphins, the “happy hormones” that will combat stress and anxiety while you attempt to conceive”
Mindful Mum, Is it safe to diet when trying to conceive? 1st September 2011
Science Direct, Fertility and Sterility, The effect of increasing obesity on the response to and outcome of assisted reproductive technology: a national study Online 6th August 2011
Brainwave3000 @ Flickr