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BMI for IVF | CREATE Fertility

BMI for IVF | CREATE Fertility

Understanding the significance of BMI in fertility treatments like IVF, can provide valuable insights when seeking to enhance your chances of a successful IVF cycle. In this blog, we will explore the correlation between BMI and fertility, particularly in the context of IVF. From defining BMI to exploring the optimal BMI range for fertility and IVF. This blog aims to shed light on how the necessities for a healthy lifestyle, that influence BMI and fertility intersect.


What is BMI?

BMI or body mass index can have a significant impact on fertility treatment. At CREATE Fertility our criteria recommend a BMI between 19 and 30. IVI Statistics show that a BMI above or below this threshold can have a negative impact on the results of fertility treatment. Our BMI calculator, housed on the CREATE Fertility website, allows you to calculate your results easily. Having a clear understanding of your current BMI and any adjustments recommended by our specialists will enable you to prepare for fertility treatment.

IVF is a fertility treatment that involves the fertilisation of an egg with sperm outside the body, in a lab. The fertilised embryo is then transferred to the uterus, where it can implant and develop into a pregnancy. This procedure is often recommended for those with fertility issues such as blocked fallopian tubes, low sperm count, or advanced maternal age.


Who is the best BMI for fertility?

The NHS health survey determines that BMI levels that are considered overweight average and underweight are:

  • Underweight - under 18.5
  • Normal - 18.5 to 25
  • Overweight - 25 to 30
  • Obese - 30 and above 


What is the best BMI for IVF?

The optimal BMI range for conception whether through IVF or naturally is defined as 18.5 to 25. Being under or overweight can impact your natural hormonal balance and result in irregular menstrual cycles. In some cases, this can also prevent ovulation entirely. Additionally, being underweight can cause your menstrual cycle to stop altogether for your body to maintain itself. Because of these factors, having a healthy BMI is extremely important for fertility.  Our Natural and Mild IVF protocols are dependent on following your natural menstrual cycle. If you experience irregularity in your menstrual cycle, there are various ways to amend this. Which your consultant will discuss at your Initial Consultation.


Can I still get pregnant with a High BMI?

Although it is possible to achieve a successful pregnancy with a high BMI, the potential risks that can accompany this can be damaging to both the child and parent. This can include gestational diabetes, preeclampsia and anaesthetic complications. These risks are emphasised in fertility treatment as, in addition to the above risks, a BMI over the eligible range can have negative effects on IVF procedures such as egg collection, making them less effective.

Additionally, individuals with a higher BMI require a higher dosage of medication. This can heighten the risk of OHSS (Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome). At CREATE Fertility our protocols provide lower doses of medication in order to prioritise the health of the patient. Similarly, those with a BMI that is too low may also be at risk of OHSS. To achieve the best possible result, we recommend improving your BMI before beginning treatment. 

At CREATE we aim to make IVF treatment accessible. If your BMI isn’t Ideal for IVF we provide a useful guide on how to regulate your BMI through lifestyle changes in preparation for IVF treatment. Our BMI Guide includes useful tips which will allow you to improve your BMI through diet and exercise adjustments without high cost or dramatic lifestyle changes.


What  else can affect my BMI?

The most acknowledged factors which affect your BMI are diet and exercise. While it’s true that a balanced diet and regular exercise has a significant impact on lowering your BMI, there are additional factors which could be influencing difficulty regulating BMI. 

PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) and Anaemia can inhibit BMI regulation for various reasons.

PCOS and anaemia are conditions which can directly affect the reproductive organs. Additionally, they are also accompanied by symptoms which can influence overall health and in turn BMI. Individuals with one or both above conditions often experience fatigue, which can inhibit regular exercise and additionally influence diet. Those who experience these conditions are often required to make specific adjustments to their diet which complement their needs. 

Tip from our BMI Guide:  PCOS - Refined carbs such as packaged cereals, white bread, rice, and pasta can increase glucose production which in turn increases insulin in the body. Insulin encourages the production of male hormones which exacerbate the symptoms of PCOS.

In cases of anaemia low iron levels can also be improved through diet. However, this may not always be sufficient depending on the severity of the case. It is important to contact your GP regarding this, as iron capsules (tablets) may be recommended to properly regulate your iron levels. Symptoms of low anaemia can have a direct impact on the ability to exercise regularly and eat a balanced diet maintaining a healthy BMI.

There are a range of foods which, when included in meals regularly as substitutes for higher carb alternatives, can reduce your BMI. Similarly regular exercise can quickly improve a BMI which is over the eligible range. It is important to make these adjustments at a realistic/moderate rate so not to have a negative impact or be unsustainable.

Understanding the impact of BMI on fertility is crucial for individuals trying to conceive. Research has shown that both low and high BMI levels can affect reproductive health and fertility outcomes. Maintaining a healthy BMI through balanced nutrition, regular exercise, and lifestyle modifications can help improve fertility and increase the chances of successful conception both naturally and through IVF. Booking an Initial Consultation will allow you to receive personalised guidance and support in managing BMI-related fertility issues from our specialists at CREATE Fertility. By being proactive in addressing BMI concerns and making lifestyle changes, individuals can optimise their fertility potential and work towards achieving their family planning goals.

For more information on how to prepare for fertility treatment book your Initial Consultation. Our specialists are here to provide insight into your fertility to help you reach your goal of starting a family.

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