IVF? Obese Women Need More Meds To Be Successful

Obese women have to worry about heart disease and diabetes and cancer.  Now a new study has found that in vitro fertilization (IVF) probably won't work for them either.

That's because they need a bigger dose of hormones to account for their weight.  

Obese women may need a different dose of medication than normal weight women in order to successfully have their eggs harvested for IVF procedures, according to newswise.com.

But that comes with a caution, at least from me, who is not a medical person but who developed breast cancer after four IVFs, because, I'm convinced, of the hormones.

If you get a bigger dose, does that increase your chances of cancer?  This has been studied, and is starting to appear true, but because fertility treatments are such a money-maker (my guess), the issue hasn't been addressed loudly enough. (I'd think it was just me, my bad luck, except many of my friends who also did IVF have breast cancer, too.)

But, back to the study.  

IVF involves mixing sperm with an egg outside the body and then transferring the resulting embryo into the uterus, newswise explains. The goal is to harvest many eggs to ensure a successful IVF cycle. As part of the egg harvesting process, women receive a medication called a GnRH antagonist to prevent the brain from giving the ovulation signal too early and ruining the egg harvest.

“If the GnRH antagonist clears from a woman’s body too quickly, there is a risk that the brain will signal the body to discharge the eggs from the ovaries too early,” the Web site quotes one of the study’s authors, Nanette Santoro, MD, of the University of Colorado at Denver. “We were surprised to find obese women were more likely to experience this, and it may be one reason why overweight and obese women have a higher rate of unsuccessful IVF cycles than normal weight women do.”

The study found the GnRH antagonist cleared out of the obese women’s systems more quickly than the normal-weight women. In addition, half of the obese women had a rebound of luteinizing hormone – the hormone that causes the body to release eggs – during the 14-hour monitoring period.

I remember the devastation I felt when my IVF cycles didn't go right.  In one, I only had one egg fertilize. Ironically, I got pregnant but miscarried.

“Our findings indicate obese women may need a different or increased dosing regimen to improve fertility treatment outcomes,” Santoro said. “Given the cost of IVF and stress of infertility, it is important to maximize each woman’s chances of conceiving a child.”se women have to wo


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