Underweight and IVF

(18 Posts)
Mistymeow Wed 14-Nov-18 10:56:51


We have been referred for IVF and in the process of waiting for our appointment. I've started to research and I'm concerned about my BMI. I've always been slim despite having a good appetite, but I lose weight very easily and find putting it on quite difficult. We conceived naturally in March this year but sadly suffered a missed miscarriage, and I think the grief caused my appetite to decrease. I feel better now but still struggling to put the lost pounds back on. My BMI is 17.5 and I need to put on at least 8 lbs. I'm worried that they will turn us down because of my weight so I want to do as much as I can before the appointment. We are having IVF for male factor secondary infertility. I've had various tests and so far everything is normal (but I know that being underweight is not good). Does anyone have advice, and if I haven't put on weight by the time of the appointment is it certain we will be denied NHS funding?

Thank you x

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physicskate Wed 14-Nov-18 12:51:47

Do either of you already have children? Secondary infertility implies you already have a child? Only 8 ccgs fund ivf where one partner (or both) already has a child...

Check on the fertility fairness website to see what your ccg will find.

Mistymeow Wed 14-Nov-18 13:51:25

Sorry, no, I used the wrong terminology. Apologies, brain wasn't in gear! We don't have any children between us, DH has a rare condition which means he doesn't produce hormones naturally, which affects sperm production. Most people with this condition go on to have IVF/ICSI so I'm fairly sure we will be accepted based on his diagnosis, but more concerned about my BMI.

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hoping2018 Wed 14-Nov-18 23:10:20

Hi @Mistymeow, unfortunately BMI is often a factor - in my area it needs to be 19. Can you go see the GP about weight? They could refer to a dietician and possibly prescribe/suggest supplements?

Mistymeow Fri 16-Nov-18 08:35:00

Thanks @hoping2018 I think I will make an appointment. Will definitely do a lot of eating at Christmas!

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Beetroot01 Fri 16-Nov-18 09:32:36

@Mistymeow years ago doctors adviced me to drink more calories containing juice (does not mean more sugar!). I have no idea how this works (or not). I did not weight myself at that time so no idea did this worked but its no harm of trying.

Mistymeow Sat 17-Nov-18 11:36:50

@beetroot01thats a good idea, thanks. I’ve also seen some advice on the nhs website which I will follow.

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HavelockVetinari Sat 17-Nov-18 11:41:07

Yes you will need to get your BMI at least into the healthy range (18.5), ideally more. My consultant asked for a BMI of 20, I really struggled emotionally with it but it was so worth it to have my beautiful DS.

I'd suggest eating high-calorie nutritious food, including full-fat dairy, nuts/seeds and oily food such as avocado and salmon. Snack regularly, and try drinking some of your calories - a smoothie with a tbsp of olive oil and some peanut butter mixed in is good.

GemmeFatale Sat 17-Nov-18 11:44:41

I had to put on weight for a job years back. Start weightlifting. Eat calorie dense foods. Have large snacks regularly. You can get these high calorie milkshakes that are designed to help people put on weight. It’s bloody hard and boring and I felt like I was always eating but it did work.

Mistymeow Mon 19-Nov-18 15:28:07

Thanks for the advice, much appreciated. I've just weighed myself and I have put on a bit of weight, so I'm on the right road smile

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79andnotout Mon 19-Nov-18 21:39:17

I'm in the greater Manchester area and they've told me the minimum bmi is 20. Maybe you could supplement your diet with weight gain shakes? There are enough of them about these days, you could ask at Holland and Barrett or any muscle gain shops.

Mistymeow Wed 28-Nov-18 14:33:24

Thanks for the replies! I spoke to the GP about it and he isn't too concerned, he says it's a bit on the low side (it's gone up to 18). I'll have a look at some weight gain shakes too smile

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AliceScarlett Wed 28-Nov-18 17:46:04

My consultant told me to put on weight so I did quite a bit of research. IVF has a better chance of working if you are obese than if you're underweight. Without enough fat cells your body can't produce enough estrogen and support a pregnancy. A lot of research has been done when the meat industry realised female pigs were inferile because they were not being fed enough! It's interesting stuff.

Mistymeow Thu 29-Nov-18 11:58:23

@AliceScarlett that's interesting about the pigs! I also read the bit about being obese and IVF. I have some time as we haven't even had the initial appointment yet, but I'm glad I found this stuff out now. It's not something you consider as a slim person, that it can affect fertility so much.

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AliceScarlett Thu 29-Nov-18 12:01:31

Exactly. I was running most days, keeping healthy, no caffeine, vegan, no alcohol, no smoking. And the consultant told me to get fat and stop exercising! ( I'm exaggerating but you know what I mean). I run 3 times a week now but I'm not happy about it.

Mistymeow Mon 03-Dec-18 11:38:43

@AliceScarlett I know what you mean! I don't do the gym, occasional swimmer that's all. But now I've taken to asking DH to slow down walking as I definitely walk too fast (every little helps...)

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Mistymeow Wed 09-Jan-19 13:52:21

Hi everyone- I thought I would update this thread to say that we got approved despite me being under the minimum BMI. The consultant said she would prefer it if I could put on a few more pounds but as I've always been petite she is happy for us to proceed. So that was a huge relief! I'm still trying to eat more, and shakes really help smile

Thanks for all your advice x

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GG2233 Tue 15-Jan-19 01:28:12

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