Prashanth Fertility Research Centre

weight loss during IVF

Weight Loss During IVF

I understand the challenges of infertility. Let me guide you through parenthood.

Table of Contents

Obesity has been linked to not being able to have children and even to problems during pregnancy. So, women who are overweight are told to lose weight before they can start to get treatment for infertility.

In some fertility clinics, IVF treatments are advised and allowed only to women who come under a specific BMI range. Fertility doctors also suggest some weight loss and diet plans for patients before undergoing IVF treatments.

So, does weight loss impact the IVF success rate and help with pregnancy? Continue reading this article to know what experts say about the relationship between obesity and IVF success.

weight loss during ivf - experts says

The American Society for Reproductive Medicine, in 2015, had a group of experts look at the connection between obesity and the ability to have children.

They found that there is a connection between weight and factors like egg quality, endometrial function, problems with ovulation, and the environment between the mother and the baby.

They then suggested healthy ways to lose weight before getting pregnant, like changing your lifestyle, getting surgery, or even going to the doctor. In a nutshell, the experts say that maintaining a healthy weight is important for getting pregnant and giving birth. However, they do not say whether weight loss can affect IVF success or not.

weight loss and IVF - Research Data Says

Recent studies have found that weight doesn’t have that much of an impact on how well IVF treatment works. According to the study, there isn’t enough proof to suggest obese women with unexplained infertility to lose weight before trying to get pregnant.

For example, a 2016 study of 577 overweight women found that those who lost weight before IVF treatment didn’t have a big edge over those who didn’t. In fact, the chance of success with IVF was higher for people who went straight to IVF without trying to lose weight first.

In another study, a random sample of 379 overweight women showed that there was no statistically significant difference between those who went through a weight loss program and those who didn’t.

So, even though a healthy weight is good for the baby and overall health, there is no strong evidence that losing weight will make IVF more likely to work.

How does obesity affect IVF success?

Even though there are no significant effects of obesity on IVF success, it might cause some health problems like high blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol problems, heart disease, joint problems, cancer, etc. These factors can affect the IVF success rate and the time and cycles needed to achieve a success pregnancy and live birth.

Here are some ways obesity can affect IVF success in women.

1. Obese women need a higher dose of medication

Obese women need higher doses of medicines that stimulate the ovaries. Obese women also take longer to respond, have a higher chance of their cycles ending in failure, and get fewer eggs available for eff retrieval

2. Obese women can have difficulty getting pregnant

IVF success rates are lower in obese women. They may also need to undergo more cycles than women with a healthy weight.

3. Obesity affects the uterine lining

The lining of the uterus is less receptive in obese women. This has been looked at in both donor egg and surrogate cycles, and it has been found that the number of live births is smaller in obese women.

4. Obesity can affect the quality of the eggs and embryos

The quality of eggs, the fertilization rate, and the quality of embryos all go down in obese women. This means that the eggs retrieved and embryos transfered could cause the IVF cycle to fail.

5. IVF pregnancy is riskier for obese mothers

Obese women are more likely to get diabetes, high blood pressure, preeclampsia, premature delivery, stillbirth, cesarean and other complications during labor. This affects not only the baby but can also be riskier for the mothers.

6. The risk of birth defects in babies are high

Babies born to obese women are more likely to be born with birth defects. There can be problems with the spine, the heart, the lip, the mouth, and so on.

Reducing body weight reduces all the above risks

Even though studies prove that obesity doesn’t necessarily affect fertility, it is always better nad safer to lose weight and not give chances for any complications during IVF treatments.

You can avoid a lot of the issues we saw above if you lose weight before trying to get pregnant. The best way for anyone to control their weight is through a lifestyle change program that includes both food and exercise. Helpful behavioral treatments include seeing a psychologist and learning how to deal with stress.

Even a 7% weight loss and some moderate physical exercise, such as walking, can make a difference. When women start to lose weight, a lot of them start ovulating and get normal menstrual cycles, and some of them can also get pregnant on their own.


A well-balanced diet and a good fitness regime can help make IVF more likely to work. You can also schedule a meeting with a fertility specialist who can help you choose the best diet and weight loss plan for your needs.

Just know that losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight is not only good for your pregnancy but also good for you. Even though it doesn’t affect your pregnancy rate, it can definitely make you more healthy and less susceptible to illnesses.


Obesity has been linked to not being able to have children and even to problems during pregnancy. So, women who are overweight are told to lose weight before they can start to get treatment for infertility. In fact, some fertility centers only offer IVF to women with a certain BMI or less.

Here are some health tips you can follow to reduce weight and get ready for IVF treatments.

  • Move more. Start exercising and lose those extra fat and calories.
  • Walking is a great way to stay in shape.
  • Cut back on heavy carbs.
  • Sugar is dangerous. So cut down on your sugar levels.
  • Take charge of how you cook. Cook healthy foods that are not too oily.

It is natural for some women to gain weight during IVF treatments due to the hormone injections that can affect their hormones and induce cravings.

The best BMI for getting pregnant, whether naturally or with IVF, is between 19 and 25. In general, IVF is less likely to work for women with a BMI of 30 or more. High BMI can also increase the risk of anesthesia during egg retrieval and cause problems during pregnancy, like diabetes and high blood pressure.

Leave a comment on this post

Scroll to Top

Let us guide you through this difficult path to parenthood

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.