Article

Weight loss in obese infertile women results in improvement in reproductive outcome for all forms of fertility treatment

Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, University of Adelaide, Woodville, SA, Australia.
Human Reproduction (Impact Factor: 4.59). 07/1998; 13(6):1502-5. DOI: 10.1093/humrep/13.6.1502
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Obesity affects ovulation, response to fertility treatment, pregnancy rates and outcome. In this prospective study, a weight loss programme was assessed to determine whether it could help obese infertile women, irrespective of their infertility diagnosis, to achieve a viable pregnancy, ideally without further medical intervention. The subjects underwent a weekly programme aimed at lifestyle changes in relation to exercise and diet for 6 months; those that did not complete the 6 months were treated as a comparison group. Women in the study lost an average of 10.2 kg/m2, with 60 of the 67 anovulatory subjects resuming spontaneous ovulation, 52 achieving a pregnancy (18 spontaneously) and 45 a live birth. The miscarriage rate was 18%, compared to 75% for the same women prior to the programme. Psychometric measurements also improved. None of these changes occurred in the comparison group. The cost savings of the programme were considerable. Prior to the programme, the 67 women had had treatment costing a total of A$550,000 for two live births, a cost of A$275,000 per baby. After the programme, the same women had treatment costing a total of A$210,000 for 45 babies, a cost of A$4600 per baby. Thus weight loss should be considered as a first option for women who are infertile and overweight.

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    • "Three studies reported the amount of weight loss and/or pregnancy rates in women who dropped out (Clark et al., 1998; Crosignani et al., 2003; Kuchenbecker et al., 2011). These studies showed that completers lost more weight than dropouts. "
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    ABSTRACT: STUDY QUESTION: What are the dropout rates in lifestyle intervention programs (LIPs) for overweight and obese infertile women and can intervention- or patient-related baseline factors associated with dropout be identified in these women? SUMMARY ANSWER: The median dropout rate was 24% in overweight and obese infertile women who participated in a LIP; clinical useful intervention or patient-related factors associated with dropout could not be identified. WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY: Overweight and obese infertile women might improve their chance of conception when they improve their lifestyle and lose weight. Dropout from LIPs reduces the chance of losing considerable weight and is therefore considered to be an important limiting factor of the success of LIPs. STUDY DESIGN, SIZE, DURATION: This systematic review included 15 studies published between January 1980 and December 2012. PARTICIPANTS/MATERIALS, SETTING, METHODS: The included studies investigated the effect of LIPs for overweight and obese infertile women with infertility. From these studies, dropout rates and intervention- and patient-related baseline factors associated with dropout, as well as weight loss and pregnancy rates, were recorded. MAIN RESULTS AND THE ROLE OF CHANCE: There were 15 studies identified, of which 10 reported dropout rates. The median dropout rate was 24% (range: 0-31%). Four studies reported baseline characteristics of women who dropped out, but modifiable predictors of dropout could not be identified. Weight loss and pregnancy rates were lower in women who dropped out than in women who completed the LIPs. LIMITATIONS, REASONS FOR CAUTION: There were limited numbers of studies investigating patient-related factors associated with dropout. The heterogeneity in the studies precluded us from drawing firm conclusions on the relation between the type of intervention and dropout. WIDER IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGS: Dropout from LIPs is a major drawback because it predisposes to less weight loss and lower pregnancy rates. Identification of predictors of dropout is needed to identify overweight and obese infertile women who are prone for dropout. These women might benefit from extra support and monitoring, to potentially increasing adherence rates, weight loss and pregnancy chances. STUDY FUNDING/COMPETING INTEREST(S): M.A.Q.M. was supported by a research grant from the Dutch Organization for Health Research and Development (ZonMw). The department of obstetrics and gynaecology received research grants from Merck Sharpe and Dohme BV, feering pharmaceuticals, Merck Serono, the Netherlands.
    Human Reproduction 02/2013; 28(4). DOI:10.1093/humrep/det026 · 4.59 Impact Factor
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    • "Similarly, high waist to hip ratio is negatively associated with the probability of conception (Zaadstra et al., 1993). Moderate weight loss can restore fertility in overweight anovulatory women (Clark et al, 1998). As in PCO patients, many obese women have high LH and androgen secretion together with a relative insulin insensitivity. "
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    ABSTRACT: Anovulatory subfertility is a heterogeneous condition with various underlying causes, which should be identified with appropriate history taking, physical examination and relevant investigations. Optimisation of body weight is essential in either underweight, overweight or obese individuals. Women with hypogonadotrophic anovulation can be treated with pulsatile gonadotrophin-releasing hormone therapy or a gonadotrophin preparation containing both follicle-stimulating hormone or luteinising hormone activities. For normogonadotrophic anovulation, clomiphene citrate should be used as first-line medical treatment. Metformin co-treatment with clomiphene citrate may be considered in a subgroup of women with polycystic ovary syndrome who are obese or clomiphene-resistant. Ovulation induction with gonadotrophin or laparoscopic ovarian drilling is the next option. Dopamine agonist is indicated for anovulation as a result of hyperprolactinaemia.
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    • "Its secretion is pulsatile, w32 pulses per 24 h (Licinio et al. 1997), secretion increasing with food intake and decreasing during starvation. Leptin is a key signalling protein, relaying the magnitude of the peripheral energy stores to the brain (hypothalamus), and it has metabolic and reproductive functions (Norman & Clark 1998, Messinis & Milingos 1999, Pasquali & Gambineri 2006). In the periphery, leptin has a role in fat metabolism and an effect upon glucose metabolism through an antagonistic relationship with insulin and reduced pancreatic secretion. "
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    ABSTRACT: Whilst many multiparous women are obese (body mass index >30 kg/m(2)), obesity has been associated with impaired fecundity; however, the mechanism which links obesity to reduced fertility remains to be fully elucidated. Obese women, particularly those with central obesity, are less likely to conceive per cycle. Obese women suffer perturbations to the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis, menstrual cycle disturbance and are up to three times more likely to suffer oligo-/anovulation. A fine hormonal balance regulates follicular development and oocyte maturation, and it has been observed that obesity can alter the hormonal milieu. Leptin, a hormone produced by adipocytes, is elevated in obese women, and raised leptin has been associated with impaired fecundity. Obesity impairs ovulation but has also been observed to detrimentally affect endometrial development and implantation. The expression of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is regulated, in part, by weight, and so obese women with PCOS often have a more severe phenotype and experience more subfertility. Obesity also impairs the response of women to assisted conception treatments. Weight loss through lifestyle modification or bariatric surgery has been demonstrated to restore menstrual cyclicity and ovulation and improve the likelihood of conception. In this article, we will discuss the effect of obesity upon key reproductive mechanisms and its relation to fertility treatments.
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