Does Being Overweight Affect In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) Results? By Sonja Kristiansen, MD on March 29, 2015

A woman in front of her homeThe team at Houston Fertility Center has helped countless patients thanks to in vitro fertilization (IVF), an effective treatment for male and female infertility. Sometimes the best option for ensuring successful pregnancy is to improve general wellness.

With this in mind, let's consider how excessive weight can affect your chances of getting pregnant as well as how it can lead to increased risks with childbirth.

How Weight Relates to Infertility

Body mass index (BMI) is important to consider with regard to general wellness and fertility. People who are generally closer to the normal BMI range for their height, weight, and age are in better overall health than those who are under the ideal BMI or significantly over the ideal BMI.

Keep in mind that there is some variance in BMI for certain individuals and it's not the sole measure of wellness. Athletes with lots of muscle mass, for instance, may have a higher BMI than the ideal, and some people may be genetically thinner or heavier than the ideal BMI. For the vast majority of people, however, the ideal BMI range for their height and weight is a good indicator of health and wellness.

Health Issues Related to Obesity and Morbid Obesity

A number of serious health problems are linked to obesity and morbid obesity, including:

  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Heart disease
  • Sleep apnea
  • Gallstones and gallbladder disease

In addition to these general health issues, studies have shown that women who are obese or morbidly obese are more likely to experience miscarriage, premature childbirth, and other kinds of pregnancy and childbirth complications.

How Being Overweight Affects Fertility Treatment Success

While undergoing fertility treatment, women who are significantly overweight and obese do not respond as well to fertility drugs and may have issues with regard to the health and viability of their eggs. Problems may also arise during the embryo transfer phase of the in vitro fertilization (IVF) process as the uterine lining of the patient may be affected by weight-related issues.

Losing Weight Naturally Is Ideal for Improved Health and Fertility

In order to improve your general wellness, enhance your fertility, and improve your chances of fertility treatment success, it's a good idea to lose weight naturally and improve your lifestyle so that you are healthier. Improving your diet and getting more exercise will mean better overall wellness and reduced risks of pregnancy and childbirth complications.

Seek Help from Your General Practitioner

If you require help losing weight, be sure to meet with your general practitioner to learn about all options that are available to you. A suggested change in diet and exercise that is recommended by your doctor can help ease you in to healthy and gradual weight loss. More immediate measures may be recommended if there is an urgent concern about your general wellness, so please keep that in mind.

Schedule a Consultation at Houston Fertility Center

For more information about your options with regard to treating infertility, be sure to contact our fertility specialists today. The entire team here looks forward to your visit and helping you make the best possible choices with regard to your overall health and wellness.

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Dr. Sonja Kristiansen

Houston Fertility Center

Dr. Sonja Kristiansen is the founder and Medical Director of Houston Fertility Center. She is a board-certified Reproductive Endocrinologist Infertility (REI) specialist who is proud to help hopeful parents fulfill their dreams of having children. Our center is affiliated with the:

  • American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
  • American Society for Reproductive Medicine
  • Texas Medical Association

We provide convenient care for patients from greater Houston and visitors from out of town. For more information about our services, contact our office online or call (713) 225-5375 today.

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