What is the relationship between Weight and Fertility?
Fertility and body weight are inter-related and both under weight as well as over weight women experience difficulties in conceiving. Furthermore, the risk of miscarriage, premature birth, restriction in baby’s growth, diabetes in pregnancy, hypertension and several other pregnancy complications are more likely.
Why is it important to normalise your weight before treatment?
Whilst undergoing fertility treatment, you may experience additional difficulties and some of these are as follows:
Risk of not responding to simpler, less expensive and less risky treatments is increased for a variety of reasons. You are more likely to end up requiring complex, invasive and expensive treatments with greater side effects and risks to your health.
Changes in your metabolism when you are over or under weight reduce the capability of eggs to become babies. In IVF, the risk of forming few and poor quality embryos that will not have a good chance of implanting is increased.
Risk of miscarriage and extreme prematurity is increased. Premature babies have increased risk of complications some of which can have long term effects on their quality of life and health, for example, cerebral palsy, long term chest and bowel problems are more likely in premature babies. The earlier the birth, the smaller the baby, the greater will be the risk to the child, for example those born before 34 weeks and/or are less than 1500 gms at birth.
The risk of complications to you with all surgical procedures is increased. These include the risk of sedation, anaesthesia, and clot in leg veins, clots in the lungs, brain and other major organs. Many of these risks can endanger your life or your long term well being.
There is good medical evidence now that children that are born to both underweight and overweight/obese women have long term health risks in their own life especially the risk of heart disease, obesity and diabetes.
In view of the above, our ‘Good Medical Practice’ (NICE) guidelines dictate that we start treatment by normalising the BMI when ever necessary.
Now the Primary Care Trusts that fund your treatment have also decided to limit funding to only those couples where the BMI is normal and not low or high.
As you see it is very important that we start assisting and treating you by examining the body mass index along with other lifestyle issues that could affect the likelihood of your success naturally and with treatment.