Overweight women carry double the risk of having a miscarriage, according to a study focusing on healthy IVF embryos.
Half the women of reproductive age in the UK are damaging their chances of having a baby by allowing themselves to get too fat, the study found. Weight is a problem despite each patient in the study having a potentially viable embryo transferred to her womb after a successful fertilisation.
It was already known that miscarriages are more common in overweight women who conceive naturally, but the study, focusing on healthy IVF embryos, suggests weight and not any other factor is responsible for this.
Approximately half of women of reproductive age in the UK are overweight, when measured by their body mass index (BMI). More than one in three have a BMI score higher than 30, classifying them as obese.
Commenting on the research, British expert Professor Adam Balen, from the Leeds Centre for Reproductive Medicine, said: “About 30-35% of women of reproductive age in the UK are obese.
“A large proportion of women are jeopardising their chances of having children. It’s an extremely important issue.”
Results from the study, conducted at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital in London, were presented at the annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (Eshre) in Rome.