Obesity harms the chances of a woman becoming pregnant and having a successful pregnancy by as much as 28%, according to research by a university professor.
A woman who is simply overweight has 14% less chance of a successful pregnancy, according to Barbara Luke, a researcher at Michigan State University.
The study analysed the data of nearly 50,000 women using assisted reproductive technology, but the findings can also be applied to women not using assisted technology.
Ms Luke said: "The results are not surprising; obesity is a state of inflammation and is not a good environment for conception or foetal development.
"The key message is to lose weight, prior to conception, and focus on pre-conception health issues.
"Once you become pregnant, the baby is developing in that environment."
The study looked at the effect increasing body mass index had on a woman's ability to become pregnant using assisted reproductive technology and how obesity alters the outcomes of pregnancy.
Copyright © Press Association 2009
Michigan State University
You are currently leaving the Nursing in Practice site. Are you sure you want to proceed?