New Shady Grove Fertility Study Sheds Light on Whether Body Mass Index (BMI) Causes Chromosomally Abnormal Embryos

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A leader in clinical research, Shady Grove Fertility presents key findings at the American Society of Reproductive Medicine’s 2016 Scientific Congress and Expo.

Expanding knowledge to help more patients take home a baby is the primary motivation behind the robust research program at Shady Grove Fertility. Yesterday at the American Society of Reproductive Medicine’s 2016 Scientific Congress and Expo in Salt Lake City, the physician-scientists at Shady Grove Fertility, together with their collaborators, presented a retrospective study looking at the relationship between a woman's body mass index (BMI) and the chromosomal makeup of her embryos.

Aneuploidy is defined as an abnormal number of chromosomes and occurs more commonly in embryos from women of advanced maternal age. Chromosomal abnormalities account for a large proportion of miscarriages. Since several studies have found that obesity is also associated with an increased risk of miscarriage, researchers aimed to evaluate the relationship between obesity and aneuploidy.

Physicians at Shady Grove Fertility may suggest that losing even a small amount of weight could potentially improve the chances of success among overweight women. High body mass index (BMI) has been associated with lower pregnancy and live birth rates and higher miscarriage rates. One potential explanation is the possibility of higher rates of chromosomal abnormalities (aneuploidy) among embryos from obese and overweight women. This retrospective review of data set out to answer that question “Do overweight or obese women have an increased occurrence of chromosomally abnormal embryos?”

In this study, 1,237 fresh embryos from 267 women underwent preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) to determine their chromosomal makeup. Of the embryos in the study, 23 belonged to women classified as underweight, over 700 from women considered to be normal weight, 285 from overweight women, and 211 from obese women.

Within this sample, the rates of aneuploidy were similar for underweight, normal, and obese patients (between 60.7 percent and 59.1 percent for the three groups), and the rate for overweight women was slightly less at 55.8 percent. While the study was not able to pinpoint the exact cause for increased miscarriage rates among overweight and obese women, it suggests that aneuploidy likely does not account for it.

For patients, these findings suggest that maternal weight does not increase the chance of chromosomally abnormal embryos. Rather, the study’s authors suggest other causes like the endometrial environment could be to blame for lower successful in vitro fertilization (IVF) outcomes for obese patients.

About the 2016 ASRM Scientific Congress & Expo
The 2016 ASRM Scientific Congress & Expo is the premier scientific congress for reproductive medicine that will address state-of-the-art issues in reproductive medicine and science. Held from October 15 to 19, 2016, in Salt Lake City, UT, the theme of the 2016 Scientific Congress of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine is “Scaling New Heights in Reproductive Medicine.” The program features scientific, postgraduate, and video presentations as well as plenary lectures addressing the most pressing clinical and basic-science issues in reproductive medicine.

About Shady Grove Fertility
Shady Grove Fertility is a leading fertility and IVF center of excellence offering patients individualized care, innovative financial options, and pregnancy rates among the highest of all national centers. 2016 commemorates 25 years of Shady Grove Fertility providing medical and service excellence to patients from all 50 states and 35 countries around the world, and celebrates over 40,000 babies born—more than any other center in the nation. Today, 34 reproductive endocrinologists, supported by a highly specialized team of 600 urologists, Ph.D. scientists, geneticists, and staff care for patients in 19 full-service offices and six satellite sites throughout Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Shady Grove Fertility physicians actively train residents and reproductive endocrinology fellows and invest in continuous clinical research and education to advance the field of reproductive medicine through numerous academic appointments and partnerships such as Georgetown Medical School, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, the University of Maryland, and the National Institutes of Health. More than 1,700 physicians refer their patients to Shady Grove Fertility each year. For more information, call 1-888-761-1967 or visit https://www.shadygrovefertility.com.

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Courtney Flantzer

Kasey Murphy
@SGFertility
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