Infertility/Fertility, Weight and Feeding Your Hungry Heart

By on October 26, 2011

Could losing weight eliminate the need for IVF?

Since we do seem to need proof of the obvious, here comes another study that shows the healthier we are the easier the baby making

A recent study at Guy and St. Thomas’ NHS Foundation trust published in the Journal of Human Reproduction found that higher body mass index (BMI) for women undergoing IVF treatment was linked with higher rates of miscarriage.

A study included more than 400 women who were going through IVF between 2006 and 2010, with all of the women undergoing single  blastocyst  transfer  which is linked with a higher pregnancy rate and lower miscarriage rate compared with single embryo transfer.

27 %t of the women miscarried   less than 23 weeks into their  pregnancy. Women who had a body mass index higher than or equal to 25 had more than double the risk of miscarriage.  In the group with normal BMI, 20 percent of the women miscarried. When the scientists subdivided the women into overweight and obese, they found that both groups had comparable miscarriage rates: 37 percent and 42 percent respectively.

The doctors in charge of the study were “amazed” to see such a clear connection between weight and IVF success rates.  Dr. Allan Pacey, a fertility specialist at the University of Sheffield was quoted saying that  women should aim for a healthy weight before undergoing IVF. Hmmm.  If losing a little weight could do the trick, how about aiming for a healthy body, heart and mind? Could it possibly  eliminate a need for IVF?

Then of course we also know it’s always a much more interesting story than just a story of losing the requisite pounds.  Sometimes the hungry heart needs to get the nourishment it needs and sometimes that nourishment does the trick.   As with our beautiful mom  in the Fertile Heart Video, the baby can also show up  before the weight comes off.

It’s then the baby that inspires the new mom to become healthier and thinner. (Nadine, the mom in our video has shed lots and lots of pounds since that interview)

I suppose it’s a good thing that studies are catching up with commons sense. Why should we allocate resources for cleaning up the air for these children beaming down when we can spend it on proving the obvious and then still encourage women to continue with possibly unneccessary treatment ?

6 Responses to “Infertility/Fertility, Weight and Feeding Your Hungry Heart”

  1. Jean says:

    Dear Julia,
    In regard to the herbal infusions you recommend to support the body nutritionally, such as nettle and the like, are they recommended for use during pregnancy as well as preconception? Also, I have often relied on ginger tea to help with gas or bloating–but do you advise against using ginger during pregnancy?

  2. Tracy says:

    Julia, you are right, it should be common sense that weight loss would increase fertilitym Many people don’t seem to make that connection. When I first discovered The Fertile Female and this community I was very overwhelmed with the diet changes. I have come to realize that the food I put into my body is directly related to the way that it functions which makes activities of digestion and elimination more or less difficult based on what it is processing at the moment. It would make sense then that excess weight would make these activities more difficult for the body starting at the cellular level. I recently had some allergy testing and discovered I may have an allergy to Gluten. I started letting go of Gluten 5 days ago. It isn’t easy but I want to be kind to myself and my body. For me, paying attention to what I put in my mouth is the first step to saying “I hear you, I will try to do better”.

  3. Morgan says:

    Thanks for the post, Julia. The research here makes sense to me. I know that since the beginning of my own journey I have started to view food as something not to be restricted to achieve a certain result, but rather as a beautiful way to nourish my body. As I prepare for my upcoming cycle, I’ve been instructed not to do any vigorous exercise. This has been difficult for me, as exercise was a part of my daily routine. I have been tending to the orphan who says “you should workout because…”, and have replaced those workouts with delicious naps (which I find I am needing due to low energy).

  4. Robin says:

    I believe that eating nourishing things is very important. I used to be overweight – now being a little heavier would be fine. It just seems like focusing on nourishing things means less difficulty with overweight, at least. I am glad the woman in the video was able to lose some weight. There is a lot to be said for what empty part of us is being fed by excess food, and the Fertile Heart tools are very helpful for that!

  5. galina says:

    I read an article recently of a woman conceiving naturally and unexpectedly while losing weight to be able to do an IVF. It makes alot of sense. I have lost about 20 pounds in the last couple of years while changing my diet. I checked my BMI today and I am low and not ideal. Oh no another number that says I am not in the right range for optimal fertility! I used to be right at the ideal but I didn’t get pregnant ttc#2. I have been incorporating more nourishing foods and plenty of healthy fats. Since I upped my fat intake and broadened my range of recipes I have felt more complete and satisfied and enjoy food more than I ever have in my life. I am really happy with my body right now and I don’t think I look undernourished. I will have to listen to guidance from my UM. Part of me thinks I need to gain some weight part of me says just do what feels right irregardless of another number. I exercised for many years and that dropped off in the last years (one thing I cut out to make my day less hectic) and there seemed to be guidance that exercise wasn’t always helpful when trying to conceive. I started my old exercise routine again this morning. I was doing it when I conceived my first child. I used to really enjoy that as part of my day.

    thanks for another insightful post Julia,

  6. KLou says:

    Since I changed my diet and have been consciously watching what I eat, I shed some unwanted pounds (most of which I had gained while on fertility drugs in this first place). Now I feel healthier, more active, and my metabolism is much higher. I also feel sexier which is a great boost for our baby making. One of my fertility books says that the optimum BMI for fertility is 20-24 (with the ideal BMI of 21). I’m in the range now and feeling great.

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