Gestational Carrier BMI and Reproductive, Fetal and Neonatal Outcomes: Are the Risks the Same with Increasing Obesity?

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Data suggest that female obesity impairs uterine receptivity and increases the risk of fetal and neonatal mortality. We analyzed the reproductive outcomes of gestational carriers (GCs) undergoing donated oocytes and assisted reproductive technology according to body mass index (BMI).


A retrospective analysis of 163 GCs undergoing 226 in vitro fertilization (IVF) and embryo transfer cycles.


GCs undergoing in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer cycles were analyzed and divided according to their BMI (healthy weight: 20−24.9 kg m–2 (n=77 in 114 cycles); overweight: 25−29.9 kg m2 (n=55 in 71 cycles); and obese: 30−35 kg m2 (n=31 in 41 cycles)). All GCs underwent a complete medical evaluation and were cleared for pregnancy before being selected. Overweight and obese GCs also underwent a metabolic screening, including an oral glucose tolerance test and lipid profile. The main outcomes measured were clinical pregnancy and live birth rates, antenatal and neonatal outcomes.


Clinical pregnancy and live birth rates were similar despite increasing BMI. There were no statistically significant differences in the implantation rates, clinical pregnancy rates or live birth rates per embryo transfer among patients in the three BMI groups. In the healthy weight, overweight and obese GCs, the clinical pregnancy rates per GC were 72%, 84% and 79%, and per embryo transfer rates were 52%, 49% and 56%, respectively; P=NS. The live birth rates per GC were 70%, 84% and 75%, and per embryo transfer rates were 50%, 49% and 53%, respectively; P=NS. Twin rates were similar between the groups (35%, 31% and 29%, respectively; P=NS). There were no differences in gestational diabetes, preterm admissions or cesarean section rates. Neonatal intensive care unit admissions were similar (11%, 13% and 12%, respectively; P=NS), and no maternal, neonatal or infant mortality occurred.


These data show that increasing obesity does not impair the reproductive outcome in GC cycles. Larger sample size is indicated to verify these findings. Furthermore, this study suggests that the standard metabolic screening used for GCs may lead to selection of healthier patients compared with women of comparable BMI who conceive outside of a fertility clinic setting, indicating the metabolic profile, rather than BMI, may better explain differences in pregnancy outcomes.



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