Obese women more likely to become pregnant if they lose weight research suggests

Obese women who are trying to conceive should try dieting before immediately turning to IVF treatment as women who lost weight were three times more likely to fall pregnant new research suggests.Obese women more likely to become pregnant if they lose weight research suggestsHalf of the women who lost weight became pregnant within a year compared with just one in seven of those not on a strict diet, the first randomised trial of its kind has shown.

The research being presented at the European Congress on Obesity, in Lyons, France, is believed to be the first to randomly assign obese women undergoing fertility treatment to a strict diet for 12 weeks or to receive only information about healthy eating.

Of the 49 women in the trial, conducted by Dr Kyra Sim, The Boden Institute of Obesity, Nutrition, Exercise and Eating Disorders at the University of Sydney, Australia, the women on the diet lost more than 14lbs or 6.6kgs and their waist measurement dropped by an average of 3.6 inches or 9cm compared with just under 4lbs or 1.8kgs and 1cm for the women not on the diet.

The women who dieted needed fewer cycles of IVF to fall pregnant, saving on average £5,865 per pregnancy.

Dr Sim said: “A weight-loss intervention, incorporating dietary, exercise and behavioural components, is associated with significantly better pregnancy and economic outcomes in a group of obese women undergoing assisted reproductive technology.”

In many areas the NHS will not fund IVF treatment if the woman is overweight or obese as it is known that this makes fertility treatment less successful and riskier, however women are still able to pay privately.

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