The direct health services costs of providing assisted reproduction services in overweight or obese women: a retrospective cross-sectional analysis

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Prevalence of overweight and obesity is rising. Hence, it is likely that a higher proportion of women undergoing assisted reproduction treatment are overweight or obese.

In a retrospective cross-sectional analysis using routinely collected data of an IVF Unit and maternity hospital in a tertiary care setting in the UK, direct costs were assessed for all weight classes. Costs for underweight, overweight and obese were compared with those for women with normal body mass index (BMI).

Of 1756 women, who underwent their first cycle of IVF between 1997 and 2006, 43 (2.4%) were underweight; 988 (56.3%) had normal BMI; 491 (28.0%) were overweight; 148 (8.4%) were obese (class I) and 86 (4.9%) were obese (class II). The mean (95% CI) cost of each live birth resulting from IVF was 18 pound 747 (13 864-27 361) in underweight group; 16 pound 497 (15 374-17 817) in women with normal BMI; 18 pound 575 (16 648-21 081) in overweight women; 18 pound 805 (15 397-23 554) in obese class I; 20 pound 282 (15 288-28 424) in obese class II or over.

The cost of a live birth resulting from IVF is not different in underweight, overweight and obese class I when compared with women with normal BMI. However, due to increased obstetric complications weight loss should still be recommended prior to commencing IVF even in overweight or obese (class I) women.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)633-639
Number of pages7
JournalHuman Reproduction
Issue number3
Early online date5 Dec 2008
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • obesity
  • overweight
  • art
  • IVF
  • cost
  • in-vitro fertilization
  • body-mass index
  • adversely affect
  • infertile women
  • embryo-transfer
  • weight-loss
  • pregnancy
  • improvement
  • technology
  • extremes

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