High and low BMI increase the risk of miscarriage after IVF/ICSI and FET

Hum Reprod. 2008 Apr;23(4):878-84. doi: 10.1093/humrep/den017. Epub 2008 Feb 15.


Background: The extremes of BMI are associated with an increased risk of miscarriage both in spontaneously conceived pregnancies and after fertility treatment. The aim of the present study was to study the effect of BMI on miscarriage rate (MR) in fresh IVF/ICSI, and in spontaneous and hormonally substituted frozen-thawed embryo (FET) cycles.

Methods: Analysis was carried out on 3330 first pregnancy cycles, performed during the years 1999-2004, of which 2198 were fresh, 666 were spontaneous and 466 were hormonally substituted FET cycles. A categorical, a linear and a quadratic models of the effect of BMI on miscarriage were studied by logistic regression. Factors related to patient characteristics, protocol and embryo parameters were also examined.

Results: MR was higher in hormonally substituted FET (23.0%), compared with the fresh cycles (13.8%) and spontaneous FET (11.4%, P < 0.0001). Multivariate logistic regression revealed that the relationship between BMI and the risk of miscarriage is not linear but quadratic (U-shaped) (P = 0.01), indicating a higher risk of miscarriage in underweight and obese women. Hormonal substitution for FET was also associated with a 1.7-fold higher MR, compared with the fresh cycles (P = 0.002, 95% confidence interval 1.2-2.3).

Conclusions: Obese and underweight women have an increased risk of miscarriage, and hormonally substituted FET is associated with an even higher MR.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Spontaneous / etiology*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Embryo Transfer*
  • Female
  • Fertilization in Vitro*
  • Humans
  • Obesity / complications*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sperm Injections, Intracytoplasmic
  • Thinness / complications*