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Obese and trying to get pregnant? Fertility treatments might not work for you, suggests study

Thursday, July 07, 2011 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer
Tags: obesity, infertility, health news

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(NaturalNews) Obese women trying to get pregnant via in vitro fertilization (IVF) may have a much harder time doing so than women of normal weight, according to a new study conducted by researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) in Boston, Massachusetts. Published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology, the study suggests that obese women are up to half as likely as non-obese women to become pregnant using IVF.

Dr. Divya K. Shah and her colleagues evaluated the pregnancy statistics of more than 1,700 women who underwent IVF treatments at BWH between 2007 and 2010, all of whom used their own eggs. Among the 1,023 who were of normal weight, roughly 43 percent became pregnant after one IVF treatment, while about 34 had live births. However, among obese women with body mass indexes (BMIs) greater than 40, these rates dropped by as much as 50 percent.

"The eggs of obese women do not fertilize as well as those of normal-weight women," said Dr. Shah in her findings, noting also that obese women had lower estrogen levels than normal-weight women, and produced fewer normally fertilized embryos. "There is evidence from other studies, however, that weight loss increases the chances of becoming pregnant without infertility treatment, and decreases the risk of miscarriage and other pregnancy complications."

One such study, which was published in the December 2007 issue of the journal Human Reproduction found that obese women with BMIs over 40 are 43 percent less likely to become pregnant the normal way than both women of a healthy weight, and even women who are slightly overweight (http://humrep.oxfordjournals.org/content/23/...).

As far as obese women who are able to successfully conceive, a 2009 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that such women are more likely to bear children with birth defects than women of healthier weights (http://www.naturalnews.com/025998_obesity_bi...).

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