Even a few points above normal BMI can halve a woman’s chances of success for IVF. Overweight is a BMI above 25.
Overweight men also have reduced fertility.
There is no question that even mild obesity (or worse) is a very significant reason for all assisted conception treatments to fail. I would strongly advise anybody to try to get to as close to a normal weight as possible before undertaking them. A few points above normal BMI may halve a woman’s chance of success. This will almost certainly mean not only diet but a degree of regular exercise. It is best to wait until one’s body weight is in equilibrium. Similarly, women who are underweight are also at risk of failure, have a higher chance of miscarriage and more serious complications during pregnancy – if they conceive at all. Overweight is a BMI above 25. Obese is a BMI above 30. Underweight is a BMI under 18.
Despite countless breakthroughs in medical science, we still do not understand why some pregnancies will end in tragedy. For most of us, having a child of our own is the most fulfilling experience of our lives. All of us can imagine the desperation and sadness of parents who lose a baby, and the life-shattering impact that a disabled or seriously ill child has on a family.
Professor Robert Winston’s Genesis Research Trust raises money for the largest UK-based collection of scientists and clinicians who are researching the causes and cures for conditions that affect the health of women and babies.
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