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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 81-89

Treating an obese infertile patient – Is there an algorithm for success?

Rotunda-The Center for Human Reproduction, Bandra, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Gautam Nandkishore Allahbadia
Rotunda-The Center for Human Reproduction, 36 Turner Road, No. 101, 1st Floor, B-Wing, Bandra (West), Mumbai - 400 050, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2348-2907.204666

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The effect of obesity on female reproduction has been well documented to have a significant effect on ovulation, particularly in patients with a predisposition to this, but it can also increase the time required to conceive and the risk of early miscarriage in patients with normal ovulation patterns. Obesity in infertile women increases the costs of fertility treatments, reduces success rates and increases significantly the risks of many complications of pregnancy and for the newborn. Studies suggest that even a modest loss of 5%–10% of body weight can restore ovarian cyclicity. However, there are gaps in knowledge regarding the benefits and cost-effectiveness of a lifestyle modification program versus bariatric surgery targeting obese infertile women and integrated into the in vitro fertilization (IVF) clinics. Polycystic ovary syndrome is a common cause of ovulatory dysfunction impacting women of reproductive age. Factors such as the individual's body weight influence the severity of the phenotype and risk of metabolic comorbidities. Obesity and insulin resistance are thought to potentiate disruptions in antral follicle development that result in chronic anovulation, and as such, have become important therapeutic targets of dietary interventions aimed at weight loss. Obesity is associated with higher doses of ovulation inducing medications to achieve ovulation or stimulation for IVF. Obese women undergoing IVF also have a reduced chance of clinical pregnancy and live birth as compared to normal weight women. Particularly in late reproductive years, the benefits of postponing pregnancy to achieve weight loss must be balanced against the risk of declining fertility with advancing age. Recent research suggests that mild ovarian stimulation might yield healthier oocytes in obese women.

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