Updated: Tuesday, 31st March 2020 @ 7:34am

Too thin to get pregnant? Report shows overweight women are more likely to conceive with IVF

Too thin to get pregnant? Report shows overweight women are more likely to conceive with IVF

By Emma Davies

Overweight women are more likely to conceive during IVF treatment than those who are underweight, according to a new report.

Researchers at Chicago’s Advanced Fertility Center have analysed more than 2,500 IVF cycles of women under 40.

The results showed that women, who are too thin, have a one-in-three chance of conceiving when receiving IVF treatment in comparison to a one-in-two chance for healthy women.

Dr Rebecca Lee Jones, Lecturer in Maternal and Fetal Health for the University of Manchester said: “Women with a low body mass index are more likely to experience problems conceiving because insufficient body fat can affect the menstrual cycle, meaning women are not always ovulating each month.

“In pregnancy being underweight can also be damaging for the baby. Women are more likely to go into labour prematurely or to deliver an abnormally small baby if they are underweight.”

The ideal Body Mass Index when receiving IVF treatment is between 19 and 30, and weight can greatly affect the likelihood of conceiving.

Experts consider that a BMI of less than 18.5 to be underweight.

If a woman does not have enough body fat to support a pregnancy, the brain will not send the right amount of hormones which stimulate and release the egg, meaning that a undernourished body will not be prepared to reproduce.

Charles Kingsland, a consultant gynaecologist at the Liverpool Women’s Hospital said: ‘It’s important to look at body weight, having a good diet which is full of fruit and veg and vitamins and minerals, reducing alcohol, stopping smoking and trying to be active,’

Women who are too thin are also 72% more likely to miscarry in the first three months of their pregnancy.

Many factors affect the ability to conceive, from weight, stress and even emotional well-being has been linked to the success of conception and the birth of a baby, but a good place to start is to have a healthy BMI.

To work out your own BMI, visit, http://www.nhs.uk/Tools/Pages/Healthyweightcalculator.aspx