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Deleterious Effects Described in Obese Women Undergoing IVF

Impact of Bodyweight and Lifestyle on IVF Outcome: Key Issues


Key Issues

  • Underweight seems to reduce the chances of conception after IVF, but information regarding this area is still scant.
  • Obesity impairs human reproduction by reducing pregnancy chances and increasing miscarriage rates and obstetric complications forboth mother and fetus, leading to reduced live birth rates. This effect seems to occur in all types of conception.
  • Weight management through diet and exercise is the first measure to be advised in obese women hoping to conceive. This approachcan restore ovulation, menstrual pattern and pregnancy chances in cases in which anovulation is the main reproductive problem.
  • Psychological support (cognitive behavior therapy and supportive group environment) is often necessary for long-term compliance of aweight-loss program.
  • Obesity may impair both embryo and endometrial quality, but further studies need to be performed in order to determine the real roleof both components.
  • Psychological stress, caffeine consumption, alcohol consumption and illicit drug use have been implicated in poorer IVF outcome, butevidence is equivocal.
  • Cessation of smoking and illicit drug use is advisable prior to any type of conception.
  • Caffeine and alcohol may be harmless when consumed at low doses at the time of conception and during pregnancy. However, nostudies have determined a safe cut-off point, and therefore intake should be minimized or discontinued in women hoping tobecome pregnant.
  • Information relating to the impact of lifestyle on reproductive performance and motivation for lifestyle changes should be one of themain targets for health services and centers working in assisted reproduction.
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