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IVF and BMI (NHS referral)

(21 Posts)
FurBabyLady Mon 10-Oct-16 15:15:35


Just wondering if anyone has experience of what happens when you don't meet the BMI criteria for NHS referral?

I'm due to have my IVF referral appointment next month and need to gain weight. I am doing this, but I don't think I'll be able to meet the target in time. sad I've had basic tests and hycosy. Everything looks fine, no reason given why I'm not falling pregnant after two years of TTC. I did have one small cyst which they are going to scan again next week but no cause for concern apparently.

The consultant has said I need to be at BMI 19 to be referred for treatment.

If I'm not up to the right weight in time for the appointment, what will happen? Will I have to go back through my GP and wait all over again for consultants or will there be a way to be referred straight for treatment once I'm up to the weight?

Thank you for any advice / experiences.

Lolly2803 Mon 10-Oct-16 17:56:02

Hi there,
I'm not 100% sure but when I went for treatment I was weighed twice to check my BMI. They wanted to check I was on the correct range for treatment. How much exactly do you need to put on? Is it definitely not doable in the timing?
If everything else is ok did they say it could be your weight causing the delay in falling pregnant?


Blondeshavemorefun Mon 10-Oct-16 23:10:31

Opposite way for my friend. She needed to get bmi down as think was over 30 - but only just. Think 31

She wasn't that bmi at consultation so was told to go away till right bmi

Not sure what your infertility problems are due to - but a low bmi could stop you ovulating so gaining weight you may get preg naturally if no other problems

Could you have a meal replacement drink made with full fat milk so maybe 200/300 cakes as well as a meal each mealtime?

Not sure if that will help you gain but can't hurt

FATEdestiny Mon 10-Oct-16 23:25:06

I think they will send you away until you reach the target BMI.

How far off are you?

FurBabyLady Tue 11-Oct-16 07:26:53

Thanks for the advice - I need to put on at least 9lbs more but only have 4 weeks now so it's looking unlikely. All the drs I have seen say that although my weight is a bit low, it won't be affecting my fertility. I ovulate and have regular periods, partners tests were all ok too.

They are scanning the cyst again next week, then I'll see the consultant again a few weeks later for the result and ivf referral (depending on weight).

I have a history of anorexia so weight gain is a slow process for me.

Yes I think I'll try the meal drinks as snacks - that should help. I'm making protein shakes in the evening but could take the pre made bottled ones to work. That's a good idea, thank you.

Blondeshavemorefun Tue 11-Oct-16 07:45:23

Welcome and good luck

FurBabyLady Tue 11-Oct-16 10:52:20

Thank you for the welcome - this infertility stuff is starting to feel very real suddenly.

Blueroses99 Tue 11-Oct-16 18:36:04

I was in the same position as Blondes's friend - BMI of 30.3 and had 7 weeks (first scan during down regulation) to get it below 30, but actually I needed to get it as low as I could because the IVF drugs cause bloat and weight gain and I didn't want the added weight to kick me off the program. Having said that, they never get actually weighed me again! Good luck

FurBabyLady Tue 11-Oct-16 19:16:27

Thank you blueroses - I'm glad to hear they let your referral go through, perhaps if they know people are very close to the boundary and already taking action then they can show discretion.

MehMehM3h Wed 12-Oct-16 10:37:25

Hi OP, it might depend on the trust as well...I was just over the BMI for IVF as well - around 31 and no one weighed me...I had to put my weight in the forms which was borderline but everyone took that at face value and never weighed me!

Good luck

FleurThomas Sun 16-Oct-16 08:13:37

You could supplement with some good quality protein shakes. My sis finds weight gain really difficult and was told to get to bmi 18-19 by the clinic but she did gain what she needed to with protein shakes as a snack between meals. In the end she never did take treatment because she got pregnant by herself (consultant said weight gain and protein might have kick started ovulation).

bananafish81 Sun 16-Oct-16 20:38:45

Fur baby - I wasn't NHS but my consultant told me I needed to get my BMI up to at least 18 to proceed with treatment, preferably 18.5, ideally 19 (obvs NHS would have been 19). Protein supplement all the way! I found most protein shakes tasted like cardboard but I found that Purition (can buy from Amazon) protein powder (all natural, no nasties) with some Greek yogurt and honey for breakfast was really quite tasty! I would load up at breakfast - one before I left for work and one at work.

I found that once I started to make myself eat more, that it stretched my stomach and made me have more of an appetite so that I found I wanted to eat more

I was BMI of 17.5 and got to just over 19. After a miscarriage I found I lost a lot of my appetite (my default in times of stress, not deliberate, but I call it sadness starvation, I just lose any desire for food and have to make myself eat) but having got my BMI up I actually haven't lost too much weight.

I know it's hard because most people struggle to have any sympathy if you're trying to put on weight rather than lose it. Purition powder plus Greek yogurt was I think the key for me. Sometimes I'd have a different flavour powder again as a dessert in the evening. Loads of protein and healthy too. Good luck!!

FurBabyLady Mon 17-Oct-16 09:50:18

Fleur - That's very motivating! I've been tracking on my fitness pal to make sure I'm meeting minimum calories and I think I have been seriously under eating protein, which I hadn't realised. I've added in protein powder and that is really helping.

Banana - Thanks for the recommendation! I'll give that one a try. I bought another whey powder but it does have an odd flavour to it. I hadn't thought of Greek yoghurt, that's very high in protein too. Did it take you a long time to get up to BMI 19? I'm similar as I also lose my appetite when stressed or unhappy. I think that's for me under-eating actually numbs anxiety and any strong emotions, and gives a sense of calm. Think that's common with anorexia though.

Update - I put on 2lbs in a week! I'm now on target...! Thank you for your support.

fluffypacman Mon 17-Oct-16 09:54:52

Well done you! Good luck. X

broodypsycho Thu 20-Oct-16 11:07:51

I have had the same concerns. I have til the 7th November to get my bmi under 30. My bmi is 30 so I don't have to lose a great deal but still the pressure and I'm really worried incase the delays us.
Just do what Renee zellwegger done for Bridget Jones and stuff your selves with cream cakes haha.
Right I'm going to have my dry toast and 1 egg for dinner now sad

FurBabyLady Thu 20-Oct-16 15:12:57

Good luck broody - Yes it is a lot of pressure! Do you know how much you need to lose to be under 30? You've got just over two weeks so go steady and I'm sure you'll get there.

I did well last week but been really stressed this week and looks like I haven't put on anything yet even though I've been eating enough to. I usually weigh on a Saturday though so hopefully it's still going to plan.

Blueroses99 Thu 20-Oct-16 19:05:09

Broody I had soup everyday for several weeks just to shave a little off my BMI and make sure I was still eating nutritiously. Losing a little weight in that timeframe is manageable - good luck.

Blueroses99 Thu 20-Oct-16 19:06:56

Fur baby weight fluctuates day to day so don't worry if you've been eating the right things. Hopefully it will show on Saturday

bananafish81 Fri 21-Oct-16 19:17:56

Furbaby it took me I’d say a good 6-9 months to get my BMI up to 19 - although I probably wasn’t really trying as hard as I could/should have at the start. My only advice to you would be that if you’re using MyFitnessPal, that you use it for a short time only, to get a sense of how much / what kind of food you need to be eating to get enough cals & protein - and then stop using it. It’s easy to become obsessive about it, and if you have a history of EDs then tracking can become an unhealthy habit. Forgive me if I’m speaking out of turn, I don’t have any personal experience with EDs but seen it close up with one of my dearest friends (FWIW she had absolutely no periods for many years due to her anorexia, but now has 4 beautiful children)

I just lose all interest in food when I’m stressed, tired or unhappy. I try and load up at breakfast because I often can’t face dinner after a long day at work, so I try and front load my cals if I just can’t force much food down in the evening

2lbs is brilliant!!!! You are doing amazingly

Good luck to the ladies trying to lose weight too xx

Ash89 Sat 22-Oct-16 21:14:59

Hi guys
I'm actually new on here signed up as I saw this post

Furbaby I'm In the same position as you but I was put on a open 6 month appointment in order to gain 8 lbs and if I dont gain the weight I the time frame ill have to go through referal and some tests again.
When I initially went to my consultants appointment I was 17.7 bmi weight was 6St 9lbs they told me I'd have to put on 8 lbs In order to get NHS funded first thoughts were I'm never going to be be to gain that amount I've been this weight for years.
My eating habits were so poor that some days I'd go without any food and just survive on drinks but I soon had to change that.
I went to argos and brought a ninja bullet to make smoothies within 3 days I'd put on 1lb I also started eating 3 meals a day no matter how sick I felt after. I weighed myself every day sometimes every time I ate I became obsessed with it. I weighed myself today and I'm 7 St 3 lbs which is 19 bmi but I started my periods also and that causes loss of appetite so Im expecting fluctuation through the next couple of days.

You may want to try some of these things I tried and helped me
Double strength your milk - Meaning add 4 spoons of dry powered milk.
Complan - can buy from boots it's a light meal replacement but you can drink it with food can also double strengthen this too
Add mayo or cheese butter to anything you can
A whole tin of tuna is a good source
Nuts is really good to gain weight
Breakfast bars throughout the day upto 4
Avocado is really good
Having cereal as snack through the day is also good

I really hope this helps you X

broodypsycho Sun 23-Oct-16 17:08:05

furbaby i only need to lose like 4/5lb to get it under 30, but when i know i have to diet it makes me wanna diet more cake

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