'Deny overweight women fertility treatment'

Women with a BMI over 35 should be deferred for fertility treatment until they lose weight, claims the British Fertility Society (BFS).

Women need to have a BMI below 35 to be referred for fertility treatment.

In women under 37 years with normal levels of folic-stimulating hormone, a BMI below 30 should be the aim.

A healthy weight is needed to ensure women have a good chance of success and to mimimise the risk of complications, states the BFS in its latest guideline.

GPs need to tell obese women wanting to be referred for fertility treatment that carrying excess weight reduces the likelihood of successful conception both naturally and with assistance.

Additionally, being obese increases the risk of complications in pregnancy, including miscarriage and congenital abnormalities.

The safety of fertility treatments is also compromised by obesity, which makes anaesthesia difficult and can mean the ovaries are unable to be seen on ultrasound scans.

Psychological support, dietary advice, exercise classes and even pharmacological and surgical procedures should be offered to these women.

Losing just 5-10 per cent of their body weight could restore fertility, according to the BFS.

rachel.liddle@haymarket.com

Access the research

Comment below and tell us what you think 

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Just published

Kamila Hawthorne

GP crisis could force one in four practices to close, says RCGP

Unmanageable pressure could force more than a quarter of GP practices to close, polling...

COVID-19 vaccine in pregnancy

Vaccination in pregnancy cuts COVID-19 risk for mother and baby

Vaccination against COVID-19 during pregnancy reduces the risk of infection and hospitalisation...

Child using smartphone

NICE backs digital CBT games for children with anxiety or low mood

GPs could prescribe CBT-based digital games, videos and quizzes for children and...

GP surgery sign

GP pressure to continue as experts warn NHS backlog will remain through 2023

General practice faces continuing heavy pressure after experts warned that the record...

Close-up of a man loading a shotgun

BMA updates GP firearms guidance as digital marker goes live on EMIS

The BMA has updated its guidance for GPs on firearms licensing following the release...

Map pins

Severely underdoctored areas spread across nearly every NHS region

Severely underdoctored areas exist in nearly every NHS region across England, figures...