Fertility Network UK
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Does weight really affect fertility?

Hi, I'm currently on day 6 of down regulating. I've really tried over the last few months to lose weight but it just won't seem to budge. In desperation I'm giving up sugar in a last ditch attempt to lose weight before EC/ET but buserilin seems to make it even worse. I'm just wondering if anyone has any thoughts on weight loss, cos it's getting on my nerves that I can't lose anything despite my best efforts. My periods have always been on time, I have PCO on right ovary but not PCOS (apparently that's a good thing?). My bmi is about 27.5. Just wondering if anyone out there has had good success on icsi being a little overweight? Do I really need to be so hard on myself? xx

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Honestly I think it's luck of the draw. Millions of over weight unhealthy people have babies while others try to do everything right and it's still an uphill struggle. If you're bmi is 27.5, that sounds very decent to me! Try not to be hard on yourself, sounds like you've very little to lose and the last few pounds are always the hardest to get off. Good luck!😁

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Yeah my mum always says that about the luck of the draw, so I think it's important to stay positive. Plenty of people overweight/drinkers/smokers etc who have no problem getting pregnant. It's just so difficult to accept this when we are all trying so hard 😓 xxxx

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I dont think weight has a lot to do with it unless you are very overweight and you dont sound bad at all so yes stop giving yourself a hard time! I think its important to eat healthy at this time so try to stick to lots of fruit, veg and leans meats for protein but have the odd treat too. Oh and dont expect to lose weight on meds, if nothing else the scales creep up regardless of what you do so you'll just depress yourself! Lots of luck, after doing this for a while Ive realised that this is just one massive lottery!xx

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Yes I do remember struggling to keep my weight down on our last icsi on buserilin but then when I moved to the menopur I lost a few lbs before EC so hopefully this will happen again. Christmas is sooo hard on a diet!! 😫

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Oh for sure! Well dont be too on yourself, this is hard at the best of times!xx

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I think am the same BMI as you do indeed agree with Macavela - luck! 🍀 I in fact put more weight on due to buserilin which I was told it was expected!

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I am classed as overweight and had a BFP in November xxx

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I don’t think there is anything wrong with your BMI!

My BMI is high, I’ve had to lose weight do treatment, I’ve just had egg collection on my second cycle. I think it was more my age and lifestyle that affected my first round rather than my weight.

My best friend has got pregnant naturally on her first attempt with a BMI of 34 at age 38! I also have a couple of friends/family that are pregnant with a BMI of over 35.

27 is not high, so if I were you I wouldn’t be worrying about it.

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I know, it's so tough & I just want this one to stick. Our first cycle there was so much pressure to lose weight (as it was NHS cycle) but now this one is private our consultant didn't seem to mind so much (they haven't weighed me once). In fact when I asked about bmi the consultant looked at me funny and said 'you're fine, don't worry about your weight!'. I lost our first little one at 12 weeks and I was stressing that it was something I'd done, like diet (I'm vegan) or exercise (we did a 5 mile walk the day before my mc). My friend pointed out that she ate nothing but dry pasta for the whole time she was pg and Serena Williams won the US open at 2 months pg! I'm currently doing a vegan nutrition course to make sure I'm getting the right nutrition. Man, I'm such a control freak!! 😁

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I am private, and BMI needs to be under 35, I think the nhs needs to be under 30, so that’s why the private consultant probably hasn’t bothered weighing you!

I think if you are vegan you need to make sure you are getting enough protein. The rest of us get lots of protein from animal sources which obviously you don’t. Maybe you could think about having a protein shake or something like that? I use Purition which was suggested to me by a nutritionist, I have it with almond milk.

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Yeah, I measure my protein every day now. It's quite a common myth that vegans don't get enough protein. I love my beans & soya, lol! I tend to buy added protein bread and cereals as well, if anything I probably get too much. Unfortunately it hasn't helped me lose any weight though 😞

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I think the nhs put those weight rules on just to reduce the number of people they have to fund. Cos in our area they put it on the men as well and there’s no evidence that a man with a fine sperm count needs to lose weight to improve pregnancy. It’s probably also part of the wider nhs agenda to get everyone to lose weight for other issues. It’s not going to affect your fertility at 27.5. Believe your consultant xx

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My BMI is 21 and I have been TTC for 6 yrs. I’ve had 4 unsuccessful rounds of ICSI. I eat healthily, I don’t drink alcohol, I try to avoid caffeine and I exercise every day. My sister and sister in law are both overweight and lead quite unhealthy lifestyles and they have been able to conceive naturally. I wouldn’t be too hard on yourself about losing weight, I don’t think it matters. If anything, trying to change your diet too much during treatment mightn’t be a good thing. I also found with each treatment cycle I put on at least half a stone because of the medication. Be kind to yourself, this process is stressful enough. Wishing you the very best of luck 💖 x

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Thanks Dunla ❤️ my sister in law had a bmi of 19 and they tried for about 7 years. After 2 rounds of unsuccessful ivf she got pg naturally about 2 months after the last ivf. She is now pg with their second, which was a very welcome surprise!! She was never able to put on any weight at all. My other sisters are like yours, both overweight and not very healthy and got pg easily. Definitely not a fair process really but we have to keep our heads up high. Thanks for your kind wishes xxx

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I would say you don’t need to be hard on yourself, your BMI seems okay to me and there are plenty of overweight women who conceive naturally. I find it hard to lose weight especially when on buserelin that makes everything worse! I think everything in moderation is what’s important xx

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Youre absolutely being too hard on yourself, the NHS are willing to treat a BMI of 30, and most private companies will treat a BMI of up to 35! Stress is definitely the biggest obstruction to weight loss so you should just continue to live a healthy balanced lifestyle, and enjoy yourself. A stress free body and positive happy mindset is the key to your dreams being achieved xxxxx

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I had a successful icsi cycle with a bmi of 28.

I found slimming world really good. Managed to lose 4.5 stone on it and will be heading back to group in the new year to try to get lower x

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Wow, that's amazing! I lost about 2 stone on SW, but that's as far as I got. Would love to lose more 😊

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Well that's a significant amount! I lost 2 stone really quick and then stalled. Took me over 18 months to get to 4.5 stone which is amazing considering I didn't exercise

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Hey :) my BMI is 27 too: i am nhs funded and can have a BMI of up to 35. When I asked the nurse about my weight she said it was totally fine and i didnt need to lose anything. Im trying to be reasonably healthy, no alcohol etc but also dont want to go overboard so that my body reacts differently to normal or thinks its in detox. I am doing down reg at the moment too. No idea if I am doing it right though to be honest lol. Xx

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I think I read that studies show BMI under 30 improved chances during ivf, but there wasn't any extra benefit shown going lower. So you're doing great.

Like others have said, I have found doing ivf really helped put on the pounds, so I keep battling it. Finally got mine to hover on 25 after quite a battle, but I think it will be more than that come Jan!

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I've read lots of scientific papers on fertility and there is a definite link between weight and fertility, but only if you're severely underweight or obese. At your bmi you have nothing to worry about and yes, you're being too hard on yourself.

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