New research has found that obesity significantly increases the risk of a subsequent pregnancy loss in women with recurrent miscarriages.
The study, presented at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) 7th International Scientific Meeting in Montreal, was carried out in St Mary's Hospital, Imperial College NHS Trust in London, and aimed to investigate the effect of body mass index (BMI) on unexplained recurrent (three or more) miscarriage and included 696 women who attended a specialist clinic between 1996 and 2007.
All couples attending the clinic underwent comprehensive investigations and those with no identifiable cause established were referred to as "unexplained" recurrent miscarriage.
Each woman had her BMI measured at first consultation and was placed into one of four categories: underweight; normal; overweight; and obese.
In those who had a livebirth in their next pregnancy 11% were obese compared to 19% who had a future poor pregnancy outcome.
Advanced maternal age (â‰¥35) and increased number of previous miscarriages were associated with poor pregnancy outcome.
When maternal age and number of previous miscarriages were adjusted, obese women were shown to have a significantly increased risk of a further miscarriage compared to those with normal weight.
Ms Winnie Lo, Clinical Nurse Specialist at St Mary's Hospital, said "Ours is the first study to look directly at the link between BMI and recurrent miscarriage. It shows that obese women who experience recurrent miscarriage are at greater risk of subsequent pregnancy loss.
"All women with recurrent miscarriage should be weighed at their first consultation. Those who are found to be obese should be counselled regarding the benefits of weight loss in increasing their chances of a successful pregnancy and programmes should be in place to help with the weight loss process."
"So, was there any follow-up done with the women over 35 to see if a successful pregnancy was achieved if they were able to get their BMI back into normal ranges?" - Colleen, Wisconsin
"So obese women have an increased risk of miscarrying? And smoking 60 cigerettes a day increases the risk of cancer. Who knew? I'm awaiting the study that tells us that cold items can be found in fridges." - Joe Delaney, Hailsham