(HealthDay News) — For women with polycystic ovary syndrome undergoing in vitro fertilization, BMI impacts outcomes, according to a study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Amelia P. Bailey, MD, from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues conducted a retrospective cohort study to examine the effect of BMI on in vitro fertilization (IVF) outcomes.

Data were included from 101 cycles from 79 women aged younger than 40 years with a clinically documented diagnosis of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

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The researchers found that compared with lean women with PCOS, obese women with PCOS had significantly lower odds of clinical pregnancy per cycle (OR=0.31; 95% CI, 0.11-0.86; P=.02) and of clinical pregnancy per embryo transfer (OR=0.23; 95% CI, −0.08 to 0.68; P=.008). 

The odds of live birth were significantly lower per cycle start (OR=0.29; P=.02) and per embryo transfer (OR=0.23; P=.01) for obese vs. lean women with PCOS. 

Among women with PCOS, increasing BMI correlated with a trend toward decreasing ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome incidence (19.6%, 10.5% and 3.2% in lean, overweight and obese women, respectively).

“PCOS is a broad syndrome, with our results demonstrating two distinct populations, lean and obese, which have different IVF outcomes including ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome risk profiles,” the researchers wrote.


  1. Bailey AP et al. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2014;doi:10.1016/j.ajog.2014.03.035.