Body mass index and short-term weight change in relation to treatment outcomes in women undergoing assisted reproduction

Among women undergoing ART, overweight and obesity were related to lower live birth rates. Short-term weight loss was related to higher MII yield but unrelated to clinical outcomes.

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Jorge E. Chavarro, M.D., Sc.D., Shelley Ehrlich, M.D., M.P.H., Sc.M., Daniela S. Colaci, M.D., Sc.M., Diane L. Wright, Ph.D., Thomas L. Toth, M.D., John C. Petrozza, M.D., Russ Hauser, M.D., Sc.D.

Volume 98, Issue 1 , Pages 109-116, July 2012



To assess the relation between body mass index (BMI) and short-term weight change with assisted reproductive technology (ART) outcomes.


Prospective cohort study.


Fertility center.


A total of 170 women undergoing 233 ART cycles.


Baseline BMI and short-term weight change were related to ART outcomes. Regression models accounting for repeated observations were used to adjust data for potential confounders.

Main Outcome Measure(s):

Peak E2 levels, oocyte yield, MII yield, fertilization rate, embryo quality, postive [beta]-hCH, clinical pregnancy and live birth rates.


Overweight and obesity were associated with lower live birth rates. The adjusted live birth rate (95% confidence interval) was 42% (28%–58%) among women with a BMI between 20 and 22.4 kg/m2 and 23% (14%–36%) among overweight or obese women. Short-term weight loss was associated with a higher proportion of metaphase II (MII) oocytes retrieved. The adjusted proportion of MII eggs was 91% (87%–94%) for women who lost 3 kg or more and 86% (81%–89%) for women whose weight remained stable. This association was stronger among women who were overweight or obese at baseline. Short-term weight loss was unrelated to positive β-hCG, clinical pregnancy, or live birth rates.


Overweight and obesity were related to lower live birth rates in women undergoing ART. Short-term weight loss was related to higher MII yield, particularly among overweight and obese women, but unrelated to clinical outcomes.

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Fertility and Sterility

Editorial Office, American Society for Reproductive Medicine

Fertility and Sterility® is an international journal for obstetricians, gynecologists, reproductive endocrinologists, urologists, basic scientists and others who treat and investigate problems of infertility and human reproductive disorders.