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Assisted Reproduction

Obesity Can Reduce Your Chance Of Becoming Pregnant Via IVF

The odds of having a baby via IVF may be lower for obese women than their more slender counterparts according to two new studies:

The odds of having a baby via in-vitro fertilization (IVF) may be lower for obese women than their thinner counterparts, two new studies find. The studies, reported in the journal Fertility and Sterility, add to evidence suggesting that heavy women have a lesser chance of success with IVF — where a woman’s eggs are fertilized in a lab dish then implanted in her uterus.

Research shows that obese women may be less fertile than their thinner peers. But the evidence has been mixed on whether extra pounds can affect a woman’s odds of having a baby with IVF. In the new studies, researchers at two different Massachusetts fertility centers found that overweight women were less likely to have a baby after IVF. In one, the birth rate among both overweight and obese women was 23 percent, versus 42 percent among women at the lower end of the normal-weight range. In the other study, the odds of success were lower only for obese women, and not those who were less overweight.

Of 477 women who were moderately obese, 22 percent had a baby. That compared with 30 percent of normal-weight women. And the chances of success dipped with the severity of a woman’s obesity. Among the most obese women — about 100 pounds or more overweight — 15 percent had a baby.

The lead researcher on that study said there are still questions about the role of a woman’s weight in IVF success. In some past studies, researchers have found that normal-weight and obese women have similar chances of having a baby, said Dr. Vasiliki A. Moragianni, of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School in Boston. But most of those studies were much smaller than this one, he said in an email.


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