Can BMI affect your IVF success?

We understand that during your fertility journey, you’re going to have a whole host of questions for our fertility experts.

During such an emotional and exciting time in your life, you want as many details as possible around what you should and shouldn’t do.

One of the common queries we receive is ‘Can my Body Mass Index (BMI) affect the success of the IVF process?’ In this post we answer that question and explain what the effects can be.

Does BMI affect my chances of pregnancy through the IVF process?

As with natural conception, being overweight or obese, as well as being underweight can influence the IVF procedure.

This is because your BMI can impact fertility. Therefore, your body mass index can directly work alongside your chances of falling pregnant.

BMI is a measure that uses your height and weight to work out if your weight is healthy. A normal BMI for men and women is between 19 and 25, depending on height.

A common misconception is that only women with a high BMI will have difficulty falling pregnant. However, if a woman’s BMI falls below 19, ovulation can stop completely due to a lack of oestrogen, which is produced in fat cells.

Does BMI affect my chances of pregnancy

Another common misconception about BMI affecting fertility and pregnancy success is that only the woman needs to be at a healthy BMI. This isn’t true. For men, being slightly overweight can affect sperm count, reducing it significantly.

How does BMI affect the IVF process?

Aside from the lack of oestrogen in an underweight woman, your BMI can affect treatments in a number of ways.

Being overweight can lessen the impact of fertility medications, meaning that processes such as IVF, ICSI and IUI treatment can all be affected negatively.

Your weight will also decrease the quality of your eggs if it is too far from your recommended BMI, whether it is too high or too low. This will then, in turn, increase the risk of pregnancy complications.

How can I overcome this?

The best, and most simple thing to do is maintain a healthy lifestyle. While achieving a target BMI for IVF is the primary goal, everything that comes with that can improve your IVF procedure success.

How does BMI affect the IVF process?

For example, maintaining a healthy diet, which includes a range of fruit and vegetables, will not only help you to maintain the weight you’re looking for, it can also improve your health overall. This in turn, will help you reach your target pregnancy BMI.

As well as this, try to get into an exercise regime. Exercise is known to improve your mood and increase sleep, all of which can improve your overall wellbeing.

There you have it, some small changes to make to your lifestyle which can have a big effect on your lifestyle, and perhaps your chance at IVF success.

If you have any other questions, feel free to get in touch with our helpful team of advisors.