Weight loss can’t increase conception chances — Study

A recent study conducted by researchers in the United States has indicated that mere weight loss programmes cannot improve fertility or birth outcomes.


The result of this study was published in PubMed, an archive of biomedical and life sciences journal literature at the United States National Institutes of Health’s National Library of Medicine.

The research, conducted at nine academic medical centres in the U.S., involved 379 random women with obesity and unexplained infertility.

One of the researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine’s Center for Reproductive Research, Dr. Daniel Heisenreder, said, “We’ve known for decades that obese women often have difficulty getting pregnant. For this reason, many doctors recommend weight loss before pregnancy, but few studies have addressed a healthy lifestyle, the problem of comparing exercise to exercise and weight loss.”

On the methodology deployed, Dr Haisenleder, said that the participants were reportedly divided into two groups.

He explained that one half was made to lose a pound through weight loss programmes, while the other engaged in physical activity without trying to lose weight.

At the end of the programme, both groups received three rounds of standard fertility treatment.

He said, “Women in weight loss programs lost an average of 7 per cent of their weight, but participants in the exercise-only group usually maintained their weight. But in the end, there was no significant difference between the two groups in terms of the frequency of healthy births.

In total, 23 of the 188 women who completed the 16-week intensive weight loss program gave birth. Of the 191 people who completed the exercise-only program, 29 gave birth.”

Based on their findings, Dr. Haisenleder and his Co-researchers concluded that the weight loss program did not make women more fertile or improve the outcome of childbirth compared to embarking on exercise.

“A preconception intensive lifestyle intervention for weight loss did not improve fertility or birth outcomes compared to an exercise intervention without targeted weight loss. Improvement in metabolic health may not translate into improved female fecundity,” he said.

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