Mar 02 2015

In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) and Underweight Patients


A woman smiling at the cameraAt The Centre for Reproductive Medicine here in Lubbock, we've been able to help countless patients through in vitro fertilization (IVF), a highly effective treatment for male and female infertility.

So many different things can lead to difficulties conceiving naturally, such as congenital issues, systemic conditions, and advanced age. Even a patient's weight can have an effect on fertility, which we'd like to consider right now.

How Body Mass Index (BMI) Affects Fertility

Studies have shown that women whose BMIs are notably outside of the normal range for their height and age tend to have issues with fertility. This is true of women who are both overweight as well as women who are underweight.

Obviously there are numerous factors that go into BMI with regard to the a person's muscle mass and so forth. In fact, some women are very healthy (i.e., eat good diets, exercise regularly) and may happen to be naturally overweight or underweight based on BMI. Still, for the vast majority of people, being in a relatively normal weight range is most ideal for good overall health.

Why Being Underweight Makes a Difference to Fertility

When women are underweight, a number of issues may occur with their hormone levels. Hormonal imbalances will often trigger difficulty with fertility as well as other health issues. This can lead to problems or irregularities with a woman's menstrual cycle and ovulation. Body fat is where estrogen is stored, for instance, which is a crucial hormone for female reproductive health. When there's too little estrogen, problems are bound to occur.

It's estimated that 12% of all female infertility cases are linked in some way to a woman being under her ideal weight.

Treatments of Lifestyle Changes to Consider Before In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)

Before consulting with a fertility specialist for assistance with infertility, women who are underweight are advised to speak with their general practitioner. Their doctor may recommend a new diet to help the patient put on weight or improve the likelihood of fertility. Sometimes just adding a little extra weight to be in a more ideal range is all that's needed to feel your absolute best. Other options can be considered once necessary blood work and other testing is performed to assess health, wellness, and overall fertility.

Is in vitro fertilization (IVF) a good idea for underweight patients?

Yes in a number of cases. We have been able to help women with all sort of hurdles have children and start families.

Keep in mind that each case is different and some women may be more eligible for IVF than others. In fact, sometimes the issue will be male infertility rather than female infertility linked to a patient being underweight, which will require a different approach to treatment. During a consultation at our fertility center, we'll be able to go over all of your options for advanced care.

Contact Dr. Janelle Dorsett for a Consultation

For more information about in vitro fertilization (IVF) and your many other options for advanced fertility treatment, be sure to contact our team of fertility treatment specialists today. The entire team here at The Centre for Reproductive Medicine looks forward to your visit and helping you achieve the best results possible.

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The Centre for Reproductive Medicine
Lubbock Office

Address: 3405 22nd St Ste 300
Lubbock, TX 79410

Phone: (806) 788-1212