Female weight is an important factor in determining fertility and infertility .
Physicians view weight in terms of body mass index or BMI. A BMI between 20 and 24.9 is considered normal for adults. A BMI between 25 and 29.9 is considered overweight. A BMI of 30 or more is considered obese. A number of studies have suggested that women who are obese have numerous reproductive problems.
In particular, obese women have a higher rate of infertility due largely to problems with ovulation. They also have lower success rates using fertility treatments including IVF . They also have a higher rate of miscarriage.
Recently, a study was presented at the Annual Meeting of the ASRM looking at women who were overweight. The study reviewed data from 1870 infertile women who underwent IVF with ICSI from 2004 until 2006. All women were under 42 years of age. The use of ICSI eliminated the chance that adverse results may have been due to male factors.
Overweight women had implantation of 15% of the embryos that were implanted whereas normal weight women had 24% of the embryos that were placed in the uterus implant. Statistical analysis indicated that the possibility of these results occurring by chance was very low indicating a real effect of being overweight.
Previous studies have also suggested that overweight women required higher doses of fertility medications were less likely to become pregnant and had higher miscarriage rates.
In conclusion, women who are attempting to become pregnant may benefit from weight loss before starting treatment.