ASRM: Relationship Between Obesity and Infertility Explored

Obesity tied to poor fertility treatment response and higher rate of oocyte immaturity
By Beth Gilbert
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Oct. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Obesity appears to be associated with increased assisted reproductive technology cycle cancellation and treatment and pregnancy failures, and also with oocyte immaturity in women undergoing in vitro fertilization, according to two studies presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, held from Oct. 23 to 27 in Denver.

In a retrospective cohort study, Barbara Luke, M.D., of Michigan State University in East Lansing, and colleagues studied a population that included 158,385 assisted reproductive technology (ART) cycles from the Society for ART (SART) Clinical Online Reporting System for 2007 to 2008, which was limited to women with both height and weight recorded. The investigators found that increasing obesity was associated with significantly higher odds of cycle cancellation as well as treatment and pregnancy failures.

In another retrospective cohort study, Divya K. Shah, M.D., of the Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues evaluated 893 women (24 underweight, 549 normal weight, 161 overweight, and 159 obese) who underwent in vitro fertilization to assess the effect of maternal obesity on oocyte and embryo quality. The data revealed that underweight and morbidly obese women experienced a higher incidence of oocyte immaturity, which was associated with lower odds of successful embryo transfer per retrieval and a lower live birth rate.

"Clearly a healthy body weight is an important advantage in all aspects of health, including reproductive health. We are hoping that with better information we can provide better help to our patients whose struggle with infertility includes a struggle with weight," James Goldfarb, M.D., president of SART, said in a statement.

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