High BMI ladies... help! What treatme... - Fertility Network UK

Fertility Network UK

26,755 members38,267 posts

High BMI ladies... help! What treatment have you had and which clinics did you use?


My consultant has started to refuse to help; my BMI is over 35 and no matter what I try, it just won’t drop. I’ve had reactions to metformin and even though I was ill for 3+ weeks my weight didn’t drop by much! I need to find somewhere that will give us a chance... it’s desperation time. I feel so low today, I’ve cried all afternoon at work since the nurse told me we weren’t priority for a hsg test appointment as the consultant said he’ll never get us to live birth stage and others waiting for the test could potentially conceive with the clinic’s intervention (we won’t get an nhs cycle as my partner has a grown up son). We’re early 40’s, unexplained infertility and do not have time to lose!

10 Replies

Sorry to hear you're feeling so upset lovely. The funding rules are unfortunately that if you already have a child that your ivf cycle cant be funded on the NHS. It's also a major issue in the UK as there is a postcode lottery on who receives NHS funded treatment and how many cycles (for couples with no children). It might be worth going through the private funding costs with your clinic so you have an idea of how much it might cost you, so you can atleast plan for it.

BMI wise, I think it depends on the clinic but as a general rule I think privately funded cycles will accept a BMI of below 35. I think my clinic offers a weight loss programme, so it might be worth speaking to your clinic about this. If you haven't chosen your clinic yet have a look at the HFEA website for details. Theres a lot to get your head around but this forum is a good place for support and advice.

Good luck 🍀🤞🏻🍀🤞🏻🍀🤞🏻


Sorry, my post wasn’t clear. We’ve been on this pathway for a while now and we always knew we’d end up going private and that I’d need to lose weight (and I have,) but nowhere near enough and it’s just not moving. Our GP recommended getting A’s May tests done as possible on the NHS and we haven’t been able to access much because of the delays on waiting lists and the doctor’s opinions on systems; other areas and even my local area clinics would do the tube check already but he won’t. We can’t change consultant. Life feels like there is no fun any more because I’ve limited my diet so much that we often don’t even eat the same meals and my portions are minuscule so I’m hungry and tired too.

We have an appointment arranged at the clinic we have selected but because of my job we have to wait until half-term to go, so even that is a delay.

I don’t want to give up on our dream baby but everything is so disheartening and I’m drained and so is he x

I know it’s so hard losing weight. I had to do it in order to be allowed our nhs cycle. Have you had your thyroid tested? This can affect weight and fertility.

The diet industry is awful. What worked for me wasn’t depriving myself (I would just end up binging) but simply working in a calorie deficit using my fitness pal. You can still eat chocolate/crisps etc as long at you stay within your calorie allowance. Be honest with yourself and track every calorie. Eat high protein to keep you full longer. It can all make a difference. Try following jamessmithpt on Instagram. He’s very blunt but takes all the bs away from the industry.

Something else that helped me (and I’m not saying this is an issue for you) was talking to my therapist about my relationship with food. This is an emotional journey and I used to turn to food for comfort. We investigated why that was and what I can do instead.

I say this from experience. I lost 3 stone keeping it simple. I now have a pt and do 5 hours strength training a week. It can be done!

I should also add that I’m 40 so I know how much harder it is at our age.

I hope I don’t come across as another person lecturing you. It’s not my intention and I absolutely understand where you’re at. Please DM me if you need support.

ZnonB in reply to Redpixie

Sorry to read your post! The physical and mental aspect of preparing to conceive are so often forgotten/ confusing and there is also such a lack of support.

I'm sorry I can't help with clinic suggestions, but following on from what Redpixie said, I thought I'd share my sister in law's journey as your story as she also had to lower her weight and BMI. She joined a great online programme called Adia Health. They do free courses on creating a healthy diet/ mental health around fertility and you can also message their doctors and ask questions too ( for free aswell).

Their approach is very much holistic, so support through emotional, physical and medical help. You may find it useful. The road is sometimes so difficult, but keep the faith you can do it!


Good luck x

Wannabemammy in reply to ZnonB

Thank you, I’ll look into the Adia app. X

I’ve not had any thyroid tests; it hadn’t crossed my mind but it’s worth perusing. I’m going to request counselling from my new private clinic as I’m sick of being on lists elsewhere and not getting closer to the top. Thankyou for your help x

You could request a thyroid test through your gp so you don’t have to pay.

Good luck!

Hello, I'm so sorry to hear this and hope to help provide some light!

I'm not sure where you're based but I've been seeing a private clinic in Putney that have been really supportive and I have been grateful that they have been willing to investigate my infertility and provide options with my high BMI (over 35) and prognosis found through the investigations I have privately funded.

I already knew I had pcos and insulin resistance. They helped diagnose polyps (which have since been removed) and endometrial hyperplasia. I'm on the ovulation induction route as we found the real issue is that I don't / very rarely ovulate on my own.

There are clinics out there that privately will assess you in your individual basis and not by some predefined list that's one size fits all that only serves the success ratings if the clinic.

Keep persevering. You deserve and have a right to investigation regardless of conception success ratings of a clinic!

Wishing you lots of luck and good vibes x

Wannabemammy in reply to altiz

Thank you so much for your reply! It sounds so similar to my case; Clearblue says I ovulate monthly but the blood tests do not agree. I’d be interested in knowing more about ovulation induction if you don’t mind x

altiz in reply to Wannabemammy

No worries at all my lovely, so we had to provide blood tests I'd already had at the GP and then after an initial (free open evening) consultation we decided to book in a one stop shop of investigation which included a HyCosy.

Then we agreed on a plan for ovulation induction. This starts with inducing the cycle using medication like Provera. If your cycle starts naturally and is regular then you won't need this bit.

We started then on Clomid (tablets) and had follicle tracking scans (transvaginal ultrasound) on the 8th/9th day if the cycle.

Clomid didn't work for me so after giving it another chance on a new cycle with a different dose, we have now gone on to follicle stimulation injecting Gonal F daily from the second day if my cycke instead of taking Clomid. Again baseline scan on the first day of the cycle and follicle tracking scans then from day 8 or 9.

It's taken a couple of cycles for us to get the injection dosage right to get a response. My ovaries are stubborn!!

When the follicles reach a certain size and if there are not too many of them we will then take a trigger shot to induce ovulation.

(because this is not IVF if there are too many follicles of the right size then they will abandon as not safe, whereas with IVF you want as many follicles as possible)

My consultants remit has always been to get me to ovulate and then let nature take its course.

We have discussed possibly doing IVF depending on how my endometrial hyperplasia is ( fingers crossed is not ) progressing and whilst I do need to keep working on my weight; I do believe they would consider treating me or helping to find a way forward.

I've also been advised to have a look at clinics abroad and an keeping that in my back pocket for now.

Have you been to any fertility shows? I've wanted to go but am a bit daunted by them, stupid anxiety!

You may also like...