Extra Motivation to Keep New Year's Resolution...Weight Loss May Improve Fertility

(ROCKVILLE, MD – February 3, 2011) – Losing weight and getting in shape are two of the most common New Years’ resolutions. But these two goals may impact more than just how you look in a tight pair of jeans:  several recent studies make a clear link between excess weight and infertility in both women and men.

“The good news is, overweight women who shed as little as five to ten percent of their body weight can greatly improve their chances of having a baby with or without medical intervention,” said Dr. Robert Stillman, Shady Grove Fertility Medical Director. “Often, patients who are determined to have a child will find the strength to make the necessary lifestyle changes to lose excess weight, even when they have struggled with their weight for many years.”

A high body mass index, or BMI, can cause lower response to ovulation medications; lead to fewer eggs retrieved during IVF; greater chance of anesthetic or surgical complications; greater risk for hypertension and other medical complications; and a higher frequency of miscarriage.  A healthy BMI is generally 19-24. Reduction in BMI for overweight patients has been shown to significantly improve fertility treatment outcomes, lower complications of treatment and lower complications of pregnancy.

Erin Barton of Churchton, MD, struggled with infertility for seven years, and went through multiple failed treatments, including IVF. When Dr. Gilbert Mottla told her losing weight would help, she says, “It was just the motivation I needed to tackle this problem once and for all.” Erin managed to lose approximately 50 pounds through diet and exercise, and got pregnant on her next IVF cycle in September, 2009.

Jennifer Royston of Frederick, MD also lost a significant amount of weight at the urging of Dr. Melissa Esposito, and 90 pounds later is now six months pregnant. “Once I realized my weight was impacting my fertility issues, I thought, ‘I haven’t really done anything on my end to help this process along.’ I was in the right frame of mind to hear this news, and ten percent seemed like a manageable number.”

“Although losing weight doesn’t guarantee a successful outcome for every patient, clearly, there is a link between obesity and infertility,” says Dr. Stillman.  “Our hope at Shady Grove Fertility is to provide the information our patients need to make informed decisions about their lifestyle choices and treatment options, with the goal of giving them the greatest possible opportunity for achieving success.”

Shady Grove Fertility Center is the largest and one of the most progressive fertility and IVF Centers in the United States.  Twenty-three reproductive endocrinologists, as well as PhD scientists, geneticist, and 350 highly specialized staff care for patients in 12 full-service offices throughout the Washington and Baltimore metropolitan areas. Shady Grove Fertility conducts clinical research in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health and is part of their subspecialty training Fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology.  Shady Grove Fertility has pioneered a number of nationally and internationally recognized programs, such as Shared Risk 100% Refund Program, Shared Donor Egg, International Donor Egg, and Shared Help among others. Since Shady Grove Fertility’s inception in 1992, more than 20,000 babies have been born to its patients. 

To learn more about the treatment plans available through Shady Grove Fertility or to schedule an appointment, please call 888-761-1967.