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IVF weight gain: Is it possible to do IVF with an overweight?

  1. 🩺 What is Body Mass Index?
  2. 🤰 Artificial insemination and overweight
  3. ⭐ Weight gain during IVF and pregnancy

Since this is not only fat reserves, but also hormonal imbalances in the body. Menstrual disruptions, poor egg quality, abnormal proliferation of the endometrium are some of the few consequences of obesity. IVF for overweight women will be even harder due to the physical gestation of the fetus and hormonal stress during the stimulation of ovulation and pregnancy.

What is Body Mass Index?

The main indicator of excess weight is body mass index (BMI), calculated using a special formula: weight divided by height squared. The resulting numerical value demonstrates how much body weight corresponds to height. Thus, the woman herself can assess her body weight: it is insufficient, excessive or within the normal range:

  • 18.5 - 24.9 - normaloption;
  • 25 - 29.9 - thereisexcessweight;
  • above 30 - obesity, which is subdivided into 3 degrees.

The opinions of modern doctors agree that a BMI indicator below 27 is favorable for the occurrence of pregnancy. If it is higher, the chances begin to plummet from each subsequent kilogram. And this is because of:

  • the quality characteristics of oocytes, which are used for IVF, are reduced;
  • disruptions in the menstrual cycle begin (ovulation does not occur);
  • metabolism is disturbed, which leads to hormonal imbalance;
  • concomitant endocrine pathologies appear (diabetes mellitus);
  • heart disease, varicose veins and other ailments can provoke a miscarriage;
  • there is polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which often keeps up with being overweight.

Consequently, women with a normal BMI have the highest chances of successful conception. At the same time, both too high (above 30) and too low (below 18) indicators are negative for a harmonious pregnancy. Excess weight is also detrimental to pregnancy, as well as lack of it.

Artificial insemination and overweight

The obesity of a woman is not considered a contraindication for IVF. However, in order to increase the chances of a successful procedure on the first try, as well as to easily endure the hardships of a pregnant state, doctors recommend losing weight at least a little. Often, due to this factor alone, the chance of getting pregnant increases dramatically.

Reasons for weight loss before IVF:

  • hormonal drugs that are used to stimulate the ovaries, instead of their direct function, accumulate in adipose tissue. Therefore, the procedure may require large doses of hormones. Accordingly, the protocol will take longer;
  • according to statistics, with follicular puncture, in obese women, fewer healthy oocytes are removed (50% less) than in women without weight problems;
  • for doctors, the puncture procedure in obese women is complicated by the inconvenient access to the ovaries and takes longer than usual. At the same time, you have to use a large dose of anesthesia, which can have a bad effect on the body;
  • the embryo is poorly attached to the altered endometrium of the uterine wall;
  • the process of carrying a pregnancy can become a serious test for the body, which is fraught with spontaneous miscarriages.

However, having reduced the weight by at least 8-10%, the already negative effect of extra pounds is reduced. But for effective weight loss, you need to find the underlying cause of fat accumulation. In this case, the patient is referred to an endocrinologist in order to identify violations in metabolic processes, chronic pathologies that contribute to obesity. When the cause is found, the doctor selects the appropriate weight loss method.


  1. Food. Making adjustments to the daily diet, reducing the calorie intake, rejecting unhealthy food in favor of wholesome food, fresh vegetables and fruits. Only a doctor has the right to prescribe a diet, based on the results of examinations and analyzes, taking into account the personal characteristics of a woman and the amount of extra pounds. It's not easy enough. Since it is necessary to provide the body with everything it needs, while reducing weight.
  2. Physical activity. Correctly selected physical activity will not only help you lose weight, but will also have a beneficial effect on your health. The physical education program is selected individually, since often excess weight is accompanied by concomitant pathologies. This can be at least a 45-minute walk in the park, home exercises, or full-fledged fitness in the gym. The main thing is the right exercise on a regular basis, plus a complete diet.
  3. Eliminate stress from life. It has been proven that some people tend to gain weight in stressful situations. Therefore, you need to ensure yourself, if possible, the most calm and measured life. A good psychologist can also help you deal with stress on your own.
  4. Medicines. The modern market for weight loss products is flooded with a variety of dietary supplements, fat burners and other drugs with unproven effectiveness. However, only a doctor can prescribe medications, and even then, in case of emergency. Self-administration can only bring significant harm to the body.

Losing weight is difficult, but possible. Dosed regular sports, proper diet, adherence to medical recommendations will contribute to a smooth weight loss without harm to reproductive and general health.

Weight gain during IVF and pregnancy

It sometimes happens that during an in vitro fertilization protocol, a woman gains weight. In fact, this is not the fault of the procedure, but the fault of hormonal drugs, which the patient gets injected to stimulate the ovaries. After all, IVF is not able to create fat and calories out of nowhere. And hormones are chemicals that can temporarily alter the body's metabolism or reactions. Therefore, some people face such side effect of hormones as weight gain.

There are a couple of reasons why this happens:

  1. Slowing down the metabolism or changing the mechanism for obtaining and using energy.
  2. Provoking food cravings (foods that are too sweet or fatty).

However, in these cases, the weight gain does not exceed 5-10 pounds (1 kg = 2.205 pounds), and more often, even less - only 1-2 pounds. More weight gain is associated with water retention by the body. Therefore, most often, the weight is normalized after menstruation or childbirth.

Gaining more than 10 pounds of weight, for example, in a day or two, always indicates a completely different problem. And this is an urgent reason to quickly seek medical help.

When pregnancy is diagnosed, a gradual weight gain of 10-11 kg over 9 months is considered normal. This is due to the increased needs of the body. Usually, after the baby is born, everything goes back to normal.

Losing weight while trying to get pregnant - is it safe or not?

An interesting paradox is that weight and infertility are closely related to each other. For example, PCOS can lead to weight gain. The IVF procedure successfully treats the syndrome. And losing weight increases the effectiveness of IVF and other treatments for PCOS. Even in the absence of polycystic ovary syndrome, but in the presence of extra pounds, the chances of pregnancy are reduced. Also, obesity provokes complications during the gestation period.

However, losing weight is safe if:

  • the patient has an excess of fat. At normal weight, weight loss can, on the contrary, make it difficult to conceive;
  • adhere a balanced diet. Extreme weight loss programs, fasting and low calorie diets are prohibited. Weightlossshouldbeslowandsteady, notabrupt;
  • stay physically active. Once the pregnancy has arrived, a sudden increase in stress can be dangerous. Therefore, it is up to a slow and gradual build-up of activity;
  • there is permission and recommendations of the attending physician. The weight loss plan must be approved by a specialist who is aware of attempts to conceive a child.

It is impossible to try to lose weight after pregnancy is diagnosed. You can reduce the amount of food you eat to prevent overeating or limit consuming unhealthy food, since a restrictive diet can deprive the fetus of essential vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.

It is best to talk to your doctor about a healthy eating plan and ideal weight gain during pregnancy. Adequate amount of protein is extremely important for a developing baby. Therefore, you need to monitor your diet, which should include lean meats, legumes, nuts, eggs, dairy products and other protein-rich foods. On the contrary, you should limit the consumption of high-calorie food that is low in nutrients (white bread, convenience foods, sweets, snacks, etc.).

However, what if the weight is normal and the woman's body refuses to produce high-quality eggs for IVF? There is an exit! Feskov Human Reproductive Group offers comfortable programs with oocyte donation, thanks to which every woman can become a mother!


IVF egg donation In-Vitro Fertilization


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