Close on the heels of the directive from British Fertility Society to disallow obese women from availing government funded IVF treatment,Sydney's Royal Prince Alfred hospital has also followed suit, barring obese women to avail the costly IVF treatment. The rationale behind this move is the inherent risks of obesity to the health of women, the unborn child and to the success of the treatment itself.
This will be applicable to all those women whose BMI is on the higher side of 30 or a weight of above 100kg for an average height of 165 cm and who wish to conceive.
Most of the IVF specialists in Sydney have seconded the move, and have refused to treat overweight women, considering their remote chance of conception through IVF and the allied health risks associated with such a conception - diabetes, deep vein thrombosis and miscarriage.
Dr Mark Bowman, head of reproductive endocrinology and infertility at RPA and medical director at Sydney IVF explained the reduced chances of obese women at conception. "The exclusion criteria in our hospital's public IVF program is over the age of 45 or a BMI in the upper-30s to 40 or more,'' he said.
"We send them away and say come back when your BMI is reduced.
"They don't need to lose a lot of weight - sometimes losing itself five to 10 kilos, even if you are 100kg, is enough'', he said.
Obese poses huge risks to health of women and many women portray polycystic ovarian syndrome, which could lead to increase in weight and difficulty in the collection of eggs.