Shady Grove Fertility Examines the Effect of Donor Egg Recipient Obesity on Live Birth Rates

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The nation’s leader in fertility outcomes presents study findings at the 2014 ASRM Annual Meeting.

3,922 cycles were observed for this study, with results showing that an increase in recipient BMI was associated with a decreased live birth rate.

Shady Grove Fertility, a recognized leader in infertility research, has announced the results of a unique study analyzing how donor egg recipient obesity can effect live birth rates. The Effect of Donor Oocyte Recipient Obesity on Live Birth: An Analysis of 3,922 Shared Donor Oocyte Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) Cycles will be presented by Dr. Shvetha M. Zarek, et al., on Monday, October 20 at 4:15 p.m. at the 2014 American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) Annual Meeting in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Historically, researching the effects of a donor egg recipient’s obesity on a cycle’s outcome has been difficult. While women who received donated eggs were monitored closely throughout the in vitro fertilization (IVF) process, they had received their eggs from different donors. Thus, it was very difficult to ascertain if obesity had affected live birth rates, or if it was related to the individual donor’s egg or other outside factors. However, Shady Grove Fertility’s Shared Donor Egg Program has now made it possible for this study to be conducted.

The Shared Donor Egg Program at Shady Grove Fertility was created after retrospective analysis on thousands of donor egg treatment cycles proved that one donor produced enough eggs to share with up to three recipients, without compromising overall success rates. This program has been beneficial to patients due to lowered costs, but it has now also proven useful to researchers as it presented the ideal control group. If three recipients are sharing eggs from one donor, you can isolate the impact of how each individual recipient’s body mass index (BMI) affects live birth rates.

Researchers from Shady Grove Fertility, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) collaborated on this research project. 3,922 cycles were observed for this study, with results showing that an increase in recipient BMI was associated with a decreased live birth rate. In particular, live birth rates were reduced by 21 percent in those recipients with BMI greater than 35 kg/m2 compared to normal weight recipients (those under 25 kg/m2). There were no significant differences though in recipients with BMI between 25-30 kg/m2 and 30-35 kg/m2.

“To our knowledge, this is the first analysis of shared donor egg cycles demonstrating that increasing BMI of donor egg recipients is negatively associated with live birth. With this discovery, we can benefit our patients by providing counseling on weight modification in order to provide them with the best possible chance of reproductive success,” said Kevin S. Richter, Ph.D., Research Director at Shady Grove Fertility.

Zarek, Shvetha M., Mitchell, Emily M., DeCherney, Alan H., Richter, Kevin S., Devine, Kate, Browne, Paulette E., & O’Brien, Jeanne E. (2014). The effect of donor oocyte recipient obesity on live birth: an analysis of 3,922 shared donor oocyte assisted reproductive technology (ART) cycles. Abstract retrieved from Fertility and Sterility Sept. 2014: Volume 102, issue 3, e4.

About Shady Grove Fertility: Shady Grove Fertility is America’s largest and most dynamic fertility center. 31 reproductive endocrinologists – as well as PhD scientists, geneticists and 480 highly specialized staff – care for patients in 18 full-service offices and 3 satellite locations throughout the Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, DC metropolitan areas. SGF offers a comprehensive range of treatment options for those needing fertility treatment or egg freezing, as well as resources to address patients’ needs - medical, emotional, and financial. For patient convenience, IVF retrievals for fertility treatment and egg freezing are now performed at three regional centers in Rockville, MD; Towson, MD; and Chesterbrook, PA.

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