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Obesity Affects Pregnancy Chances in Subfertile Women

Worrying finding given general trend toward obesity worldwide

FRIDAY, Dec. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Subfertile women with a body mass index above 29 kg/m2 have lower odds of getting pregnant than their normal-weight counterparts, with the probability of spontaneous pregnancy declining by 4 percent per kg/m2 increase, according to a study published online Dec. 11 in Human Reproduction.

Jan Willem van der Steeg, M.D., of Erasmus MC, University Medical Centre Rotterdam in the Netherlands, and colleagues conducted a study of 3,029 subfertile couples comprising ovulatory women with at least one patent tube and men with normal semen analysis.

When the women's body mass index was calculated, it emerged that there was a linear decline in fertility with a body mass index over 29 kg/m2. Each extra body mass unit above this was the equivalent of another year of age in terms of the impact on fertility. This is the first time the relationship between body mass index and chances of pregnancy in ovulatory subfertile women has been examined, the authors write.

"Now we know that not only obese women with anovulation have lower chances of conception, but also obese women with a regular cycle," the authors conclude. "Owing to the fact that more women of child-bearing age are becoming overweight and obese, this is a worrying finding."

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