Weight loss ups fertility30th June 2009
Researchers at Sheffield University have said that minor weight loss in obese women could increase their fertility.
The team studied a group of 40 obese, non-ovulating women for three months. Many of them suffered from polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
The group's average age was 29 and their body mass index (BMI) was around 40. Health service guidelines do not recommend IVF treatment for women with a BMI of above 30.
The women were given weight loss drugs to help them lose 5% of their body weight over a three month period.
The weight loss of 5% was connected with a 19% rise in blood flow to the womb.
This increase in flow could assist an egg's release from the ovaries and help with embryo implantation.
The researchers stated that the increase in blood flow worked like a "switch" to stimulate the ovaries. Testosterone levels - which are higher in PCOS sufferers - also decreased as the blood flow picked up.
Professor Bill Ledger, from the University of Sheffield, said requesting that women lost 5-10% of their body weight was a "modest target".
"The message for women with PCOS is don't think you have to lose half your body weight. This could also encourage moderately overweight women to lose 5-10%."
The team told the European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology that they needed to do more research to see how the data was connected with pregnancy rates.
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Title: Weight loss ups fertility
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 11952
Date Added: 30th Jun 2009