Pro-fertility medical treatment for obesity

Women who wish to get pregnant and have a body mass index in excess of 30 kg/m2 can help to improve both the quality of their ova and uterus receptivity through weight loss (*1)

Tratamiento médico de la obesidad pro fertilidad - Instituto Bernabeu

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Excess weight negatively affects a woman’s reproduction prognosis. With this in mind, our Endocrinology and Nutrition Department, which specialises in fertility and is managed by Dr Pino Navarro, has designed an intensive weight loss programme that aims to improve women's chances of getting pregnant. It can be followed by both women who need to have assisted reproduction treatment and those who are able to conceive naturally.

The benefits of weight loss include improved health for the mother and foetus and it helps to ensure that the pregnancy concludes in the best possible manner. (*2)

Who can benefit from this programme?

Women with a body mass index in excess of 30 kg/m2 who need to have assisted reproduction treatment in order to get pregnant can benefit from the programme prior to in vitro fertilisation, whether this be with their own ova or with donated ova. It can help to optimise results. It is also suitable for women who do not have specific fertility issues but who are overweight and for whom those weight issues are making natural conception difficult.

What does the pro-fertility medical treatment of obesity programme entail?

The aim of the treatment is to achieve an estimated weight loss of between 5 and 10%. This improves the patient’s fertility prognosis by improving and/or recuperating the reproductive system’s biological functions.

The treatment does not aim to ‘cure’ obesity but it does seek to play a role in achieving the birth of a healthy child. It can:

    • Improve oocyte quality and avoid malformations in the foetus through an antioxidant diet and appropriate vitamin supplements (3*)
    • Increase endometrial receptivity and, in turn, the chances of embryo implantation by reducing the risk of spontaneous pregnancy loss
    • Improve the prognosis for the mother and the foetus during pregnancy by decreasing complications such as gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia and macrosomia

Phases of the programme

The entire process is designed and monitored by our specialist in endocrinology with the support of a nutritionist, both of whom are experts in fertility and gestation.

The programme lasts ten weeks and can continue for longer if the patient wishes to achieve a greater weight loss.

It is divided into three phases. The first entails an in-depth analysis of the case in order to assess potential complications (glucose metabolism, thyroid dysfunction and others), design the initial course of treatment and request blood tests.

The first check-up takes place two weeks later in order to assess the results of the tests, check how the patient is adapting to the treatment, adjust the nutritional programme and add pharmacological treatment where necessary.

Nutritional checks are performed as required over the following eight weeks in order to adjust treatment to the stipulated objectives.

In the last phase, before trying to get pregnant (ten weeks following the first appointment), a final assessment is performed and a clinical report is issued.

PHASE 1

 

Study and design of the treatment (approximately two hours)

  • Assessment performed by an endocrinologist with specialist knowledge of reproduction
  • Impedance analysis to analyse body composition
  • Blood test: general, HbA1c, TSH/TPO antibodies and vitamin D levels
  • Initial nutrition assessment Design and detailed explanation of the personalised nutrition plan, made to measure each woman’s needs
 

PHASE 2

 

Second appointment

  • Assessment of the results of the blood test
  • Adaptation and initial response to the nutrition plan
  • Additional pharmaceutical drugs

Follow-up of nutritional developments and adjustments to the treatment

 

PHASE 3

 

  Final assessment

  • Assessment performed by an endocrinologist with specialist knowledge of reproduction
  • Impedance analysis to verify evolution of body composition
  • RESULTS REPORT


(1*) Improving reproductive performance in overweight/obese women with effective weight management

HUMAN REPRODUCTION UPDATE. Robert J.Norman , Manny Noakes , Ruijin Wu , Michael J.Davies , Lisa Moran and Jim X.Wang

(2*) Female obesity is negatively associated with live birth rate following IVF: a systematic review and meta-analysis

HUMAN REPRODUCTION UPDATE. Nathalie Sermondade, Stéphanie Huberlant, Vanessa Bourhis-Lefebvre, Elisangela Arbo, Vanessa Gallot, Marina Colombani, Thomas Fréour

(3*) Adherence to the Mediterranean diet and IVF success rate among non-obese women attempting fertility

HUMAN REPRODUCTION. Dimitrios Karayiannis, Meropi D. Kontogianni, Christina Mendorou, Minas Mastrominas, and Nikos Yiannakouris

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