Obesity is a worldwide epidemic that is affecting more and more women every year. It may have an effect on a women’s fertility and increase the risk of diabetes and birth defects. It may also increase chances of complications at the time of delivery. Many obese women seek fertility care and some are treated with in vitro fertilization (IVF) for many different medical reasons. There have been concerns over the past few years regarding the success and complication rates in obese women being treated with IVF.
In a recent study by Luke and colleagues in a respected medical journal, these investigators obtained data on IVF from the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART). They specifically looked at cycle cancellation rates and treatment and pregnancy failures in women with increasing weight. They found that IVF cycle cancellation rate, failure to become pregnant and have a live birth all increased as the women’s weight increased.
Based on this and other research, obese women should be encouraged to lose as much weight as possible before thinking about getting pregnant with IVF.