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Weight affects success of IVF treatment

27 November 2000
By BioNews
Appeared in BioNews 85

An Australian research team has found that women who are very overweight or underweight are less likely to become pregnant following IVF treatment. The scientists studied over 3,500 women who underwent fertility treatment in Adelaide between 1987 and 1998. Their results, published in the British Medical Journal, show that obesity can decrease the chances of pregnancy by up to 60 per cent.

The women in the study were classified according to their body mass index (BMI), a measure of weight compared to height. The scientists classed all those with a BMI between 20-25 (equivalent to being 5ft 6in and weighing 9.5st) as moderate, while those with a BMI of 35 or more were described as 'very obese'. The pregnancy rate among the very obese women was half that of the moderate group, once other factors such as age, number of embryos transferred and cause of infertility were considered. The fertility of the underweight women (those with a BMI of less than 20) was also significantly reduced.

It is already known that being over or underweight can affect menstruation and ovulation. But the study authors point out that these problems can be circumvented by using IVF, and conclude that body mass could additionally affect the ability of embryos to implant in the womb.

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21 October 2009 - by Sarah Pritchard 
Women who are overweight or obese have lower chances of successful IVF treatment, according to researchers reporting at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) conference in Atlanta, US, this week. The researchers, from Michigan State University in the US, found that women who were defined as clinically obese were up to 35 per cent less likely to conceive and have a live baby, and twice as likely to have a stillbirth, than their lighter cou...
8 July 2008 - by Dr Kirsty Horsey 
BioNews reporting from ESHRE conference, Barcelona:By Dr Kirsty Horsey: Scientists looking at pregnancy rates in women who have previously had IVF treatment say that lifestyle factors play a large part in whether a woman will go on to achieve a natural pregnancy or not. Speaking at the annual meeting...
4 September 2006 - by Laura Goodall 
A man's infertility could be directly linked to his body weight, a current American-based study reveals. Data from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) suggests that overweight men are significantly more likely to be infertile than normal-weight men, and that for every 20-pound body...
10 December 2005 - by BioNews 
A public consultation, taking place as part of the Scottish Executive review of NHS-funded fertility treatment in Scotland, closed this week. The consultation set out to examine clinical criteria for treatment, such as age limits; social criteria such as whether couples have no other children in the home; and other...
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