Friday, 16 November 2007

No IVF for the Obese

Are you fed up with hearing that every health problem is related to your weight? You go to the doctors with a bad leg, it's because you're overweight, you've got flu, it's because you're too heavy!

The newest health advice from experts is to deny anyone with a BMI of over 35 fertility treatment until they lose weight. Both privately and on the NHS! With about 25% of women in the UK falling into to overweight category is this fair?

'Obesity reduces the chances that a woman will conceive naturally and decreases the possibility that fertility treatment will be successful,' said Mr Tony Rutherford, the chair of the BFS's policy committee. 'It also increases the risk of complications during fertility treatment and pregnancy and endangers the health and welfare of both mother and child.'

The complications listed include the difficulty of providing safe anaesthesia for obese women during procedures, as well as problems with viewing ovaries on an ultrasound scan.

The BFS guidelines have no legal weight, but they are referred to by many professionals working in the field.

The chairman of the National Obesity Forum, Dr Colin Waine, said he found the new guidelines 'troubling'. 'Weight loss may improve the success of treatment, and women should be made aware of that, but to deny treatment outright is discriminatory,' he said. 'We are getting ourselves onto an increasingly slippery slope of rationing on the basis of weight, even when overweight people may benefit immensely from treatment.'

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