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Am I too fat for IVF?

Someone recently commented on one of my TikTok videos, “You’re too fat for IVF. You should lose some weight.”

Author Sydney Brake poses alongside a stream while she celebrates her overweight body
Yeah, I'm overweight. I also find my own body sexy and vibrant. You should find your own body sexy and vibrant, too!

Do I agree with this statement?!

… Yeah. I actually do.

Look, I know I’m currently overweight. I know the IVF outcomes are better when you have a healthy body weight. I know all of this. But I also know that timing will always trump anything else when it comes to infertility.

You see, the older women get the lower their egg quality becomes. Lower quality means less of a chance the eggs will be viable. Lower quality means less opportunities for conception to happen. Additionally, some women (like me) face low ovarian reserve. These patients are counting down to their fertile retirement in months, not years.

I don’t have years and years to try to get pregnant. If I waited until I was at a “healthy weight,” I might miss my chance completely.

Our current fertility doctor told us, “We can do IVF at any weight. Weight does not affect the actual process. The issues we run into when doing IVF on an overnight patient come once the patient is pregnant: higher risk of miscarriage, higher risk of gestational diabetes, higher risk of low birth weight, higher risk of preterm labor.”

Our doctor recognizes that time is not on my side when it comes to my fertility. If I’m lucky, I have a year left of eggs. And I’m 32. Every month is critical, so for me I won’t be dedicating my precious months to a strict weight loss regimen. Instead, I will continue focusing on exercise and nutrition as a means to produce the highest quality eggs I possibly can in the short fertile time I have left.

For those asking my advice, I will always say that fertile age is more important than other factors. Depending on your own weight, it’s a decision you’ll have to make whether or not to lose weight before IVF. But what I want to share with you is this:


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