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Donor Egg Recipient Obesity and Live Birth Rates

family with baby after donor egg recipient obesityIn a previous blog, I discussed data that showed a significantly reduced pregnancy rate in obese in vitro fertilization (IVF) patients.

This was in regular IVF patients attempting to conceive with their own eggs. However, what about donor egg cycles?

Does donor egg recipient obesity affect live birth rate?

Zarek et al. from the National Institute for Health recently addressed this important question in a presentation at the 70th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine in Honolulu, Hawaii, October 2014.

They presented data from 3,922 shared donor egg cycles from 2004 - 2012. They analyzed the impact of body mass index (BMI) on live birth in donor egg sharing cycles in which recipients with differing BMI shared eggs from the same donor.

Of the 3,922 cycles, 2,425 (63%) had recipients with a BMI below 25 kg/m2 (control group), 961 (24%) with recipient BMI between 25 – 30 kg/m2, 344 (8%) with recipient BMI between 30 – 35 kg/m2 and 192 (5%) with recipient BMI above 35 kg/m2.

Increasing recipient BMI was associated with decreased live birth rate, and the association persisted when adjusted for age of recipient, number of embryos transferred, embryo stage, embryo grade and presence of severe male factor (0.990, 95% CI 0.981-0.998).

Live birth was further impacted in the subset of recipients with BMI greater than 35 kg/m2, (RR 0.790, 95% CI 0.626- 0.977) compared to normal weight recipients. This means that these patients had a 21% reduction in live birth rate when compared to the control group.

Significant differences were not appreciated in recipients with BMI between 25-30 kg/m2 (0.958, 95% CI 0.872, 1.053) and in recipients with BMI between 30-35 kg/m2 (0.931, 95% CI 0.807, 1.072).

Their analysis suggested that patients with a BMI greater than 35 kg/m2 had diminished uterine receptivity. These findings persisted after controlling for potential confounders.

They conclude that a clinically significant, 21% reduction in live birth was demonstrated when BMI exceeded 35 kg/m2. They - and other studies - suggest that obese recipients should be counseled to lose weight prior to attempting a donor egg cycle.

To work with a fertility specialist with a weight loss program that enables patients to lose 3 - 4 lbs weekly without feeling hungry or tired, make an appointment at one of InVia's four Chicago area fertility cinics.


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Dr. Vishvanath Karande

Dr. Vishvanath Karande

Dr. Karande is Board Certified in the specialty of Obstetrics and Gynecology as well as the subspecialty of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. He is a Fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and Member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.



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