The Impact of Weight and Nutrition in Fertility

by Rachel Lyons ,  BioNews | 2012-12-17

I had a front row seat for session three of Progress Educational Trust's 2012 annual conference 'Fertility Treatment: A Life-Changing Event?'. This session was entitled 'Weighing Up Your Options: The Impact of Weight and Nutrition' and sought to explore the impact of mothers' and fathers' weight and nutrition upon the success of fertility treatment, conception and the health of any resulting child.

The session was chaired by David Whittingham who is Emeritus Professor of Experimental Embryology at St George's University of London, and the first speaker was Nick Macklon who is Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Southampton. His talk was entitled 'Periconceptional Nutrition and Outcomes'.

He began by explaining how, as an IVF doctor, he feels a responsibility to discuss obesity with his patients; primarily because he has found that early intervention improves the outcome. In a 2007 study, he found a clear correlation between how good a woman's diet was and her fertility. The paper concluded that having a lower body mass index (BMI), a read-out for human body fat, was beneficial for women considering IVF.

Nick then discussed the effect of Omega 3 on embryo quality, saying that clinical data showed there might be a beneficial outcome if women were to take Omega 3, but adding that more data was needed to confirm this conclusively.

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