New debate: is it time for infertility weight loss programmes to be couple-based?

Damian Best* (Corresponding Author), Alison Avenell, Siladitya Bhattacharya, Gertraud Stadler

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
7 Downloads (Pure)


With obesity on the rise in the general population, it has also become more prevalent among people of reproductive age. Weight loss has shown benefits in overweight women and men experiencing fertility problems. However, the existing weight loss interventions for individuals with infertility are associated with high drop-out rates and limited success. In this article, we argue for the development of weight loss programmes targeting couples, as couples are routinely seen in fertility clinics, rather than individuals. Couples may have correlated weights, and similar eating and activity patterns. Involving both partners may facilitate mutual support, behaviour change, weight loss, and programme continuation, at very little additional cost. A successful couple-based intervention could improve the chances of achieving pregnancy and delivering a healthy baby, with a reduction in pregnancy complications. In the longer run, both partners and their baby could benefit from maintained behaviour change with better health across the lifespan. We conclude that there is a need for research to systematically develop a couple-based weight loss intervention with state-of-the-art design that is tailored to both partners’ needs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2359-2365
Number of pages7
JournalHuman Reproduction
Issue number12
Early online date12 Oct 2017
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017


  • body mass index
  • pregnancy
  • fertility
  • weight loss
  • couple-based intervention
  • couples
  • obesity
  • overweight


Dive into the research topics of 'New debate: is it time for infertility weight loss programmes to be couple-based?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this