Although past research has shown that obesity is associated with lower chances of pregnancy using in vitro fertilization (IVF), a new study finds that obese women who use donor eggs are just as likely to become pregnant as normal weight women using IVF. It isnt clear whether problems with the eggs of obese women are faulty or whether the difficulty might involve the lining of the uterus. So in studying only women who had IVF with donor eggs, investigators from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the University of California-Los Angeles were able to eliminate potential problems with eggs, and they ended up finding similar success rates for obese women and their normal-weight peers.
STUDIES HAVE SHOWN THAT WOMEN WHO ARE OBESE HAVE A HARDER TIME GETTING PREGNANT USING IN VITRO FERTILIZATION. BUT NOW RESEARCHERS AT WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE IN ST. LOUIS AND UCLA ARE REPORTING THAT OBESE WOMEN WHO USE DONOR EGGS TO BECOME PREGNANT THROUGH IN VITRO FERTILIZATION APPEAR TO BE JUST AS LIKELY TO BECOME PREGNANT AS NORMAL-WEIGHT WOMEN. JIM DRYDEN REPORTS
SEVERAL STUDIES SUGGEST OBESE WOMEN HAVE A HARD TIME BECOMING PREGNANT. BUT THE FIRST AUTHOR OF THIS NEW STUDY, EMILY JUNGHEIM, A WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY INFERTILITY AND REPRODUCTIVE MEDICINE SPECIALIST, SAYS IT HASNT BEEN CLEAR WHY. SOME HAVE THEORIZED THAT THERE MAY BE A PROBLEM SOMEWHERE IN THE LINING OF THE UTERUS, CALLED THE ENDOMETRIUM, WHILE OTHERS BLAME THE WOMENS EGGS.
(act) :18 o/c the endometrium
There have been a number of studies done where they looked at
obese women going through IVF using donor eggs, and the thought
is that donor eggs come from a young, healthy population, so
youve eliminated the effect of the egg. So in essence, what
you can do by doing this study is look specifically: is obesity
affecting the endometrium?
IN THIS STUDY, THE RESEARCHERS CONDUCTED A META-ANALYSIS, LOOKING AT DATA FROM SEVERAL STUDIES OF WOMEN WHO USED IVF AND DONOR EGGS TO TRY TO BECOME PREGNANT. IN ALL, MORE THAN 4,700 WOMEN WERE INCLUDED.
(act) :18 o/c an effect
And what we saw was that there was no effect of obesity.
The thing thats difficult with this is we cant really
pull out women with extreme obesity or morbid obesity,
with a BMI of 40 or greater because we didnt have a
large enough sample size to look at that. But women with
a BMI of 30 or greater, there didnt seem to be an effect.
JUNGHEIM SAYS SOME CLINICS WONT OFFER IVF OR OTHER FERTILITY TREATMENTS TO OBESE WOMEN, BUT SHE SAYS THIS NEW STUDY SUGGESTS THAT PRACTICE MAY BE UNWARRANTED.
(act) :28 o/c and fix
You know, certainly weight loss is important, and a healthy
lifestyle is great going into pregnancy. Again, clinically
meaningful weight loss in these women is really difficult.
And we dont know that weight loss would necessarily reverse
the adverse, decreased chance of getting pregnant. So we need
to fine-tune our research and figure out what it is, specifically,
thats going on. Is it overall weight? Is it inflammation?
Is it something specific that we can focus in on and fix?
SHE SAYS AS OBESITY BECOMES MORE COMMON IN WOMEN OF CHILDBEARING AGE, SPECIALISTS LIKE HER NEED TO LEARN MORE ABOUT HOW IT INFLUENCES FERTILITY, BECAUSE SHE SAYS LOSING WEIGHT CAN BE VERY DIFFICULT.
(act) :32 o/c age isnt
A lot of us have focused on weight loss, but the problem is
clinically meaningful weight loss is really difficult to
obtain. And when youve got a woman who has a limited
reproductive window to try to have a baby, youre gonna make
that window smaller by telling her, Look, you need to lose
50 pounds, 100 pounds. You know, it makes it that much more
difficult for her to have a baby because you have these
competing risks of weight, which we know affects reproductive
capacity, and age, which we know does as well. Weight is
reversible, whereas age isnt.
SO JUNGHEIM SAYS ITS IMPORTANT TO FIND WAYS TO HELP A WOMAN GET PREGNANT NOW, AND THEN DOCTORS CAN HELP THAT WOMAN TO LOSE WEIGHT LATER ON. HER TEAM REPORTS ITS FINDINGS IN THE JOURNAL HUMAN REPRODUCTION. IM JIM DRYDEN