Overweight women risk IVF miscarriage

Last Updated: Tuesday, June 29, 2010 - 00:00

Washington: A new study has found that women using assisted reproductive technology (ART) to conceive have a higher rate of miscarriage if they are overweight.

Dr Vivian Rittenberg, a Clinical Fellow in the Assisted Conception Unit, Guy`s and St Thomas` Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said that increased body mass index (BMI) was independently associated with a higher miscarriage rate after IVF or ICSI treatment.

In a study conducted amongst women of two groups - those who had a normal BMI (18.5-24.9) and the other of those who had a BMI of 25 or above.

The researchers found that the miscarriage rate was significantly lower in women with normal weight (22 percent) compared to women who were overweight (33 percent).

According to Rittenberg, the risk for miscarriages in normal circumstances for overweight women is high, but the study aimed at finding if IVF or ICSI treatment increased this risk.

"Overweight women wishing to get pregnant by spontaneous conception are already counselled to lose weight before trying for a baby," said Dr Tarek El-Toukhy, Consultant in Reproductive Medicine at the Assisted Conception Unit, Guy`s and St Thomas` Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK, who led the study.

"Our findings have shown clearly that women undertaking ART should be strongly encouraged to heed this advice in order that they can have the best possible chance of obtaining and maintaining a pregnancy," he added.

The findings were revealed at the 26th annual conference of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology.


First Published: Tuesday, June 29, 2010 - 00:00

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