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Weight loss especially beneficial to women with obesity and ovulation disorders

21 October 2016

A specific group of seriously overweight women with infrequent or absent ovulation and a related irregular menstrual cycle profit from lifestyle coaching prior to their infertility treatments. Research led by UMCG gynaecologist Annemieke Hoek shows that their chances of natural pregnancy increase three- to fourfold through lifestyle coaching. The findings of this study have been published in Human Reproduction.

Earlier this year, the large LIFEstyle study, conducted among 577 women in 23 Dutch hospitals, showed that lifestyle coaching prior to infertility treatment did not increase the chance of a healthy child being born for women with decreased fertility and serious overweight, whereas the chances of a natural pregnancy did increase after such coaching.

The most important finding from this new analysis of the LIFEstyle data is that the chance of a natural pregnancy after lifestyle coaching is the greatest for women with infrequent or absent ovulation and an irregular menstrual cycle as a result of that. This group of women mainly consists of PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) patients. This syndrome is characterized by an imbalance of several hormones, causing ovulation disorders. PCOS affects five to ten percent of all women of reproductive age. For this group of women, the chance of a natural pregnancy occurring within 24 months increased from 11% without lifestyle coaching to 29% with lifestyle coaching. Lifestyle coaching would thus be an effective first treatment step for this group of women, as it allows for natural pregnancies without medication or treatment to induce ovulation in one third of the group.

Link to the publication in Human Reproduction:

Last modified:10 June 2022 08.54 a.m.
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