Can Losing Weight Before Fertility Treatment Help You Have a Healthy Baby?
Forty percent of US women between the ages of 20 and 40 are estimated to be obese, which is associated with difficulty getting pregnant, pregnancy complications, and miscarriage. As a result, women are often instructed to lose weight before conception to increase their chances of having a healthy baby.
Dr. Richard Legro, professor and chair of the Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Obstetrics and Gynecology at Penn State Health’s Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, led a multicenter National Institutes of Health study of more than 300 women with unexplained obesity and infertility to evaluate whether targeted weight loss prior to fertility treatment might increase their chances of having a healthy baby.
Participants must have a body mass index greater than or equal to 30 kg/m2 with regular ovulation and at least one year of unexplained infertility.
Women with ovulation, in which an egg is not released from the ovaries during the menstrual cycle, and polycystic ovary syndrome, where women often experience irregular or irregular menstrual cycles due to hormone imbalances in the ovary, were not eligible to participate in the study.
The participants were divided into two groups. One group followed a protocol of increased physical activity and targeted weight loss through meal replacement and medication, while members of the other group increased their physical activity without weight loss as directed. .
The women completed these programs over a 16-week period before starting three cycles of infertility treatment including ovarian stimulation and intrauterine insemination.
At the end of the study period, the researchers found no significant differences in the number of pregnancies and healthy births between the two groups.
Members of the weight loss group were instructed to lose an average of 7% of their body weight, while the other participants did not lose significant weight. The results were published in PLOS medicine.
According to Legro, these results add to evidence that obese women who lose weight before starting infertility treatment are less likely to have healthy babies than those who don’t lose weight before conception. pregnant.
“While it differs from current clinical standards of care, there is insufficient evidence to recommend preconceived weight loss in women with obesity and unexplained infertility,” says Legro.
While it may not increase women’s chances of having a healthy baby with obesity, the researchers note that there may be other health benefits for these women if they lose weight. Some of the women in the weight loss group experienced a drop in blood pressure and a decrease in waist circumference.