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Weight Loss and Infertility Treatment

Can It Improve Outcomes?

Everyone knows that maintaining a healthy weight is good for your body and your overall health.  But did you know that being overweight or obese can not only affect your fertility, but also fertility treatment?  Can weight loss help you get pregnant?

Overweight or Obesity and TTC

Many women who are overweight or obese do not have problems con ceiving, but many others do.  Being overweight or obese can cause ovulation problems, one of the major causes of infertility in women.  A BMI (body mass index) of 30 or greater, which is defined as obesity, may lead to irregular menstrual cycles and ovulation, according to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM).  But it’s not just ovulation.  Even obese women with regular ovulation have more trouble getting pregnant.   In overweight women (BMI 25-29) and obese women, the problem has been linked to increased levels of insulin and insulin resistance, which can cause their ovaries to produce male hormones and stop releasing eggs. You can calculate your BMI here. Young women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) are often overweight or obese and have signs of insulin resistance, ASRM states.  PCOS is present in about 8 to 10 percent of young women and is one of the most common causes of infertility.

What About Infertility Treatment?

Several studies have found that obesity in women lowers the success rates of in vitro fertilization (IVF).  A high BMI may mean you need higher doses of fertility medications to get your ovaries to respond, which may put you at higher risk of over-stimulating your ovaries.  Obese women have a greater risk of complications with anesthesia during egg retrieval.  Studies have also shown lower pregnancy rates and higher rates of miscarriage in obese women, according to ASRM.  If they do get pregnant, whether by IVF or naturally, obese women are at higher risk of developing gestational diabetes and high blood pressure (pre-eclampsia).  

Should I Try to Lose Weight?

Lowering your BMI through weight loss has been proven to improve success rates in IVF.  In young women who are overweight, losing 5 to 10 percent of their body weight may be enough to restore normal menstrual cycles and ovulation, and should decrease their risks and improve success with IVF treatment.  Women with PCOS may need medications to decrease insulin resistance as well as weight loss to help them conceive.   If your BMI is 40+, you may be advised to consider weight loss surgery before starting fertility treatment.   Women 40 years old or older should consult with their healthcare provider as well as a reproductive endocrinologist to determine the best course of treatment.  Age and the time needed for weight loss may trump BMI if the window for successful IVF treatment is narrow.  But don’t give up hope!  Your fertility specialist will help you decide which options are best for you to be healthy and have a family.

Taking Steps to Start Your Family

If you’re ready to pursue IVF treatment, WIN Fertility can help.  WINFertility’s Nurse Care Managers or professionally-trained Patient Specialists can help you find an excellent reproductive endocrinologist in your area and get discounted treatment packages and financing options. WINFertility provides lower than market-rate Treatment and Medication Bundles which combine medical services for a single IVF treatment and medications at a discounted “pay-as-you-go” price saving you up to 40% off the total cost of your treatment cycle.   The bundle is tailored for your specific treatment plan, and you only pay for the treatment you need, unlike traditional multi-cycle discount plans in which you pay for up to 6 attempts that you may never need in order to receive a discount.  For those patients who think they may need an additional IVF attempt to become pregnant, the WINFertility 2nd Chance IVF Refund Program helps control costs, maximizes your chance of success and minimizes your risk of overpaying. Are you ready to take the next step? Visit or call 1-855-705-4483 (4IVF.)

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