The rising prevalence of obesity has had a profound impact on female reproductive health. Increased body mass index (BMI) is associated with ovulatory subfertility and anovulatory infertility. Overweight and obese women have poorer outcomes following fertility treatment. They respond poorly to clomiphene induction of ovulation and require higher doses of gonadotrophins for ovulation induction and superovulation. Ovarian stimulation for assisted reproduction produces fewer follicles resulting in the harvest of fewer oocytes. Fertilization rates are poorer and the embryo quality is impaired in younger women who are obese. Pregnancy rate in some studies is lower and there is an increased risk of early pregnancy loss. Weight loss regularizes menstrual cycles and increases the chance of spontaneous ovulation and conception in anovulatory overweight and obese women. Gradual sustained weight loss is beneficial whereas crash dieting is detrimental.
Keywords: Assisted reproduction; fertility treatment; obesity.