I know my spelling is not one of my strong points but even I know how to spell wait! The title refers to a lot of press coverage recently about whether IVF clinics should decline fertility treatment to over-weight women following a debate by Canadian doctors. This is a very interesting debate. There are quite a lot of fertility blogs sharing their views on this subject of IVF and weight. I guess providers of IVF treatment have a very difficult job in deciding the criteria for IVF eligibility and I guess one of those has to be weight.
There is plenty of evidence to show women who have a BMI between 24 and 30 are most fertile and probably more successful with IVF however weight is not just only factor in success. Of course it is not just concerns over success rates (private clinics want to demonstrate high success rates so may decline people who may negatively impact there scores) and NHS provider obviously need to strict criteria for their finite funds. Women with high BMI may be at higher risk of having complications. Some clinics have an upper BMI score of 35, however some women with a BMI over that have been successful with IVF despite their being obese.
Weight and BMI can be measured. Other things that can impact success such as stress, limiting beliefs, negative thoughts are not so measurable however also have a distinct impact on success rates. Women know that it is helpful to lose some weight before starting fertility treatment if they are over weight – which is why The Fertile Mind offers a free weight loss program with their fertility hypnosis programs.
So I guess the debate will carry on. I hope it focussing on the care of the patient and their risk to complications rather than purely success rates as it seems unfair to pick on just weight when emotions and mindset are not considered. Thankfully there are clinics that do acknowledge the mind-body link impact on success offering mind-body programs to patients. The Bridge Clinic in London has a 70% success rate for those that participate in their mind-body program.
If you are concerned about your weight here are some tips to help you lose weight without dieting – which just don’t work in the long term.
- Only eat at the table with knife and fork, whatever you are eating- I dare you to try it with a mars bar!
- Do not eat in front of the TV.
- Eat more slowly.
- Chew each mouthful until the food is soup. This slows you down but also your stomach hasn’t got teeth, it needs your teeth to do the work so it can digest it!
- Put all your attention on the food. Really notice the smell, texture and taste of each mouthful. Eat it as if it were the first time you are eating this food.
- Be aware it can take 20mins for your brain to be aware of the message from your stomach that you are full. The slower you eat the more aware you will be of this message.
- Check whether you are really hungry or is it an emotion such as fear, anxiety, loneliness. We often confuse the two as it is the same part of the brain activated.
- Eat when you are hungry, stop when you are full.
- Drink plenty of water, often thirst is confused with hunger.
- Plan ahead so you can be in control of what you eat whether you are working late or not.