A retrospective cohort study to evaluate the impact of meaningful weight loss on fertility outcomes in an overweight population with infertility

Fertil Steril. 2014 May;101(5):1400-3. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2014.01.036. Epub 2014 Feb 26.


Objective: To determine if meaningful weight loss (≥10%) improved conception and live birth rates of overweight patients with infertility.

Design: A retrospective cohort study.

Setting: Academic medical center.

Patient(s): Overweight patients (body mass index ≥25 kg/m(2); n = 52) being treated for infertility and referred for weight loss counseling.

Intervention(s): Patients were given a "meaningful" weight loss goal of 10%. They were followed by an endocrinologist who provided diet and exercise recommendations, metabolic screening, and pharmacologic intervention when indicated.

Main outcome measure(s): Pregnancy rate, live birth rate, weight loss.

Result(s): Thirty-two percent of the patients achieved meaningful weight loss. Patients achieving meaningful weight loss had significantly higher conception (88% vs. 54%) and live birth rates (71% vs. 37%) than those who did not.

Conclusion(s): Weight loss improves live birth rates in overweight patients with infertility. Health care providers should incorporate weight loss counseling when caring for overweight patients who plan to conceive.

Keywords: BMI; Obesity; infertility; overweight; weight loss.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Weight / physiology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infertility, Female / epidemiology*
  • Infertility, Female / therapy*
  • Overweight / epidemiology*
  • Overweight / therapy*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Rate / trends*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Weight Loss / physiology*