SureBaby Blog

Being Overweight May Affect Success of IVF, Study Shows

Posted by tina

Women struggling with pregnancy who are considering IVF may want to step on the scale before going ahead with treatment – a new study shows that overweight and obese women are less likely to respond to fertility treatments than women of normal weight.

The new report, led by Barbara Luke out of Michigan State University, was based on data collected from over 90 percent of IVF treatments conducted in the US, which included 150,000 treatment cycles over 361 clinics.

The pieces of data reported included if the IVF cycle was cancelled, whether it was successful, whether the pregnancy resulted in miscarriage, still birth or live delivery, as well as details like the patient’s height and weight before starting treatment.

From this data, it was determined that 9 percent of cycles in women of normal weight were stopped early, compared to 16 percent for those with BMIs over 50. The chance of getting pregnant for each IVF cycle for normal-weight women was 43 percent, compared to 36 percent for significantly overweight women. And finally, it was found that the heaviest women in the study had nearly twice the risk of miscarriage as normal weight women.

While this may seem alarming, particularly when you are a larger person, weight is still considered to play a lesser role than other factors affecting IVF, such as age and lifestyle habits like smoking. However, if you are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant, weight loss may be something to strive for.

"Weight isn't everything, but it's an important factor that we have control over,” said Brian Cooper, of Mid-Iowa Fertility. “Fix it now, because even a little bit (of weight loss) can make a big difference."

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