Obesity can increase risk of miscarriage, say scientists
Women who have already had one miscarriage are at greater risk of having another if they are obese, new research has showed.
Scientists at London’s St Mary’s Hospital studied 696 women who had had ‘unexplained’ miscarriages and told a medical conference in Canada that the risk of another miscarriage increased by 73% if a woman was obese.
One obesity specialist stressed however that attempting to lose weight when already pregnant was potentially dangerous to both mother and baby.
Studies over the years have highlighted the links between obesity, fertility issues and difficulties during pregnancy, however according to the experts, this is the first study to address ‘recurrent’ miscarriage, which has never had an obvious cause.
Of the 696 women who were analysed, over half were of a ‘normal’ weight, 30% were overweight and 15% were obese.
Whilst the older the woman, the bigger the chance of miscarriage, the study also revealed that obesity was another possible factor.
The miscarriage rates for overweight, normal and underweight women did not differ, but the risk of further miscarriage rose significantly for obese women.
Clinical nurse specialist at St Mary’s, Winnie Lo commented on the findings: ‘This is the first study to look directly at the link between BMI and recurrent miscarriage. It shows that obese women who experience recurrent miscarriage are at greater risk of subsequent pregnancy loss.’
She added: ‘All women with recurrent miscarriage should be weighed at their first consultation Those who are found to be obese should be counselled regarding the benefits of weight loss.’
Dr Nick Finer of Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge stated the new research was ‘unsurprising’, but warned that crash diets when pregnant were not recommended as a means to carrying a baby full term.
‘There are good reasons to try to lose weight before getting pregnant, but it is recommended that women do not try to do this once pregnancy is established.’