Nevertheless, women in the non-normal categories suffered miscarriages at a higher rate than normal-weight subjects, and were at higher risk of other complications. Furthermore, doctors had to administer larger doses of fertility drugs to stimulate the ovaries of the heavier women.
The research team, which published their work in the journal Human Reproduction, examined patients who had their first IVF treatment from 1997 to 2006. More than 25 percent were overweight, 8 percent were obese and 5 percent were severely obese (having a body mass index of 40 or more). The results of the investigation indicated that there were no further costs involved at birth, in spite of beliefs that costs would be higher for obese women.
“[The study] shows that age is a more important factor than weight,” said study leader Abha Maheshwari, a clinical lecturer in reproductive medicine at the University of Aberdeen, who urged that overweight women not be discriminated against. “Everybody should be encouraged to lose weight, but treatment shouldn’t be declined on weight alone.”