Weight Doesn't Matter for IVF

In vitro fertilization is not impacted by womens weight

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) For women with fertility issues, in vitro fertilization (IVF) is often a viable treatment. The success or failure of IVF does not seem to be influenced at all by the weight of the women, researchers have found.

Even for obese women, body mass index doesn't play a part in the fertility treatment's success rate.

"Women of all sizes can consider IVF."

Medical student Kim Parker of the Regional Fertility Program in Alberta, Canada conducted a study on the success of IVF with a team of colleagues. With a participant group of nearly 1,000 women who had undergone IVF treatment between January 2010 and February 2011, researchers identified body mass index (BMI) and the rates of pregnancy. The mean age of all the women was between 34 and 36 years old.

475 normal weight women had an ongoing pregnancy rate of 40.6 percent. Among 241 overweight women with a BMI of 25-29.99 kg/m2, the ongoing pregnancy rate was 44.4 percent, and for 221 women with a BMI in excess of 30 kg/m2, the rate was 41.4 percent. Parker said that this showed that overweight and even moderately obese women do not have reduced clinical pregnancy or implantation rates.

Many in vitro fertilization clinics have weight limitations for patients, which may in fact be unnecessary. The researchers do recommend, however, that overweight and obese women reduce their overall body weight for health reasons, before attempting to become pregnant.

The findings were presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, and published in the journal Fertility and Sterility.

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Review Date: 
October 25, 2011
Last Updated:
October 25, 2011