Semin Reprod Med 2023; 41(03/04): 87-96
DOI: 10.1055/s-0043-1776420
Review Article

Obesity and In Vitro Fertilization

Emily L. Ferrell
1   Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Abira A. Choudhry
2   University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Samantha B. Schon
1   Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
› Author Affiliations


Obesity is a highly prevalent chronic disease with a significant effect on reproductive-age women. The clinical implications of obesity on fertility and pregnancy are well studied citing ovulatory dysfunction, hormonal imbalances, higher miscarriage rates, and increased maternal and neonatal risks. For this reason, many patients with obesity seek reproductive specialists to help build their families. Despite this literature base, the effect of weight loss interventions prior to assisted reproductive technology (ART) is lacking. This review aims to outline the impact of obesity on ART, specifically in vitro fertilization (IVF). Response differences to treatment protocols compared with normal weight counterparts, limitations of access to care, and the mixed results of weight-reduction strategies prior to fertility treatment will be addressed. The known data surrounding benefits of lifestyle modification, pharmacologic therapies, and surgical interventions for obesity prior to IVF are outlined and found to emphasize a need for further research to determine the optimal approach for infertility patients with obesity.

Publication History

Article published online:
01 November 2023

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