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Hum Reprod. 1997 Sep;12(9):2057-60.

An android body fat distribution in females impairs the pregnancy rate of in-vitro fertilization-embryo transfer.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Karolinska Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.


To assess if the waist:hip ratio (WHR) is associated with the pregnancy rate (PR) in in-vitro fertilization (IVF) and embryo transfer, waist and hip girths, in addition to height, weight, body mass index (BMI), indications for IVF, PR and other related variables, were measured in 220 women undergoing IVF-embryo transfer. Three variables were significantly negatively associated with PR; high age, smoking and WHR >0.80. Women with WHR between 0.70-0.79 had a PR of 29.9% as compared to 15.9% in women with WHR >0.80 [odds ratio 0.42, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.2-0.9, P = 0.03]. There were no correlations between BMI and PR, nor were there any significant differences for the indications for IVF-embryo transfer, number of oocytes or oocyte fertilization rate, cleavage rate and number of embryos transferred. The association between a low PR and WHR >0.80 remained unchanged after adjustment for age, BMI, smoking, indication for IVF, parity and number of embryos transferred. In IVF-embryo transfer, fertilization is a laboratory and clinically controlled process, until the embryo is transferred to the uterus. Possible reasons for our finding of a decreased PR in women with an android body fat distribution include a different endocrinological and biochemical milieu for the oocyte in the growing follicle, oocytes of poor quality, or endometrial changes due to hormonal dysfunction.

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