Fertility Network UK
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There is hope

I saw the 8th doctor the other day, 8 in a stream of dr's who have said because I'm overweight there's nothing they can do despite the fact I'm not ovulating or having periods. Well this one was fab! - she's given me hope explained my blood test results and my ultrasound internal and external results to me and said I've ticked all the boxes and there's nothing wrong, she's said we have to wait for my husbands test to come back (hospital lost the first one so he now has to do it again) and go from there. She has said she can't refer me because my BMI is out of range however she's going to look into being able to give me a drug to induce ovulating and having regular periods. This all hinges on my partners sperm being fully functional though otherwise there's no point. Anyway I'm starting to look at losing weight just in case so my question is what BMI range or weight range should a 5'6 woman who is 25 be in to be able to get a fertility referral? I know it says I should in theory be 11st stone which would mean losing 12st straight off the bat but I'm looking for confirmation. Just before anyone starts about diet and excersise; I'm 25 I regularly forget to eat breakfast and sometimes lunch, I eat healthily when I remember (I don't get hunger feelings) I love veg, can't eat bread and I'm lactose intolerant so no cheese no dairy. I don't use oil, I drink only herbal teas, the occasional green tea and plenty of water. I'm not diabetic I don't eat crisps. Chocolate I eat rarely and usually when it's a "craving" but even then I don't go mad. I don't like cake or pies and we don't eat takeaways it's always home cooked food. I have 3 horses and ride regularly as well as mucking out and moving around large 5ft round hay bales in winter and bashing in fence posts. Guess my question is how the hell am I 23 stone and how can I change my body to get pregnant?!?

Any help/advice appreciated. I've tried SW, and didn't get on with it as I can't eat as much pasta and potato as I like because it feels wrong and has a detrimental effect on my tummy!!

5 Replies

Hi there.

Sorry to hear your struggles with the medical professional - I have been there myself. I was discharged over two years ago- unexplained not able to get funding- several gynae issues under a gynae led me getting a re referral to an NHS fertilty clinic - under the leading consultant whose been completely fab such a nice guy. It can be such a lottery finding a helpful dr! I'm lucky my GP has been very supportive.

My bmi was 30.8 at my appointment- I was encouraged to lose weight. Like you I have really struggled with my weight since trying for s baby. Loads of diets haven't worked. I told my specialist that- he was very supportive and said as my insulin was raised he recommended a low GI diet and gentle excercise like swimming and walking would be better for me as high impact sport would make me snack! Has your dr checked your insulin levels? Having a high insulin can make losing weight impossible. I had my glucose and full count blood test due to dizzy spells. I'm iron deficient anaemic and at the appointment I also got told I was boderline type 2 diabetes which at 34 is scary! I have to say I have found the following the low GI really easy and I don't feel hungry! I have also lost a huge amount of weight in a really short space of time- my appointment was end of August and I've gone down 2 dress sizes. Ask your GP about the low GI diet and see if it's ok for you to do.

The consultant believes I've got polycystric ovaries and has prescribed me 100mg clomid - I'm on my second round.

For NHS fertilty treatment I'm pretty sure bmi is 30 for a women and 35 for a man. You can go on the NHS bmi calculator and see what you need to lose.

To make ovulation medication as effective as possible you do need to try to lose the weight as if your insulin levels are higher the less likely your ovaries will respond to the clomid - you only get 6 months worth. You need to give yourself the best chance I know it's really hard.

This month I feel the clomid is working better as I have lost more weight and my insulin is less high.

I want to wish you the very best with everything and I hope it brings you a beautiful positive test x


Thank-you Jess, I don't have an excess of insulin and as I say I do eat healthily when I remember. I'm hoping that keeping track of my meals will mean I can show my GP what I'm eating & that my diet isn't the issue. Fingers crossed!! Thanks for the advice :)


Hi OriginalFlick. Right now, you’re probably 23st because of all the muscular work you are doing, which in turn could be putting up your testosterone level?? Ideally your BMI should be under 30 to have treatment such as IVF. However, the treatment the doctor is suggesting you try, could just get you ovulating again, and if your husband’s semen analysis is OK, then maybe?? I think the drug she is on about is probably Metformin. I don’t know if you know much about how Metformin works, but I will explain as simply as I can, with apologies if you already know. People who are diabetic (I realise you are not) - are treated in 3 different ways – diet, tablets (Metformin) or insulin injections. Women who are not ovulating properly and/or do not have regular periods and who are overweight, are often prescribed Metformin. The reason being is that they often have an excess of insulin in their body cells. Because of this the glands in the brain that control ovulation, the pituitary and the hypothalamus cannot get their message through to the ovaries to get them to ovulate properly. Metformin “mops up” the excess insulin to allow the messages to get through. Often it can regulate periods, but ovulation still does not occur. This is when a drug called Clomid is often introduced as well to hopefully ensure ovulation occurs. Metformin allows Clomid to do its job more efficiently. It all sounds very complicated, but the mechanics of the idea work well. Of course this treatment does not work with every woman, and there is always the possibility that IVF or similar treatments may be required, once your goal BMI is reached. I am certain that you are doing everything that you can to lose weight, but whatever you are doing, whether at a slimming club or on your own, make sure that you are keeping a record of your losses, however small, so that you can prove you are trying. A practice nurse at your GP practice would weigh you and keep a record too, if you don’t want to join a slimming club. Swimming, if possible, is good too. If you can afford to attend one of these fitness centres, then speak to one of the advisors. He/she will be able to help you with your diet requirements and also the correct exercising that you require. Wishing you well with all of this. Diane


Thanks Diane, I'm keeping a food diary currently so I can show my GP. I have always struggled to lose weight even when I was working out everyday in the gym before my wedding I wasn't loosing any weight at all. Fingers crossed the fertility consultant will allow my GP to prescribe whatever drug she is thinking of to force my body to ovulate!


Hi OriginalFlick. Well, you seem to be well organised, so that's good. Fingers crossed with whatever they have planned for you. Diane

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