As well as age, smoking and lifestyle, Body Mass Index (BMI) is a factor in determining eligibility for HSE and NHS funded fertility treatment. A BMI of 30 or less is generally required.
Whilst BMI restrictions are controversial, extra weight may effect fertility for men and women in the following ways:
- Reduced sperm count, quality and motility
- Increased risk of erectile dysfunction
- Ovulatory and menstrual dysfunction
- Hormonal imbalances
- Lower success rates for In vitro fertilisation (IVF)
- Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
- Reduced egg quality and risk of pregnancy complications
Private fertility clinics will advise overweight or obese men and women to lose weight to increase their fertility and improve the success rate of IVF treatment.