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Expert warns size zero trend can cause infertility

The UK's obsession with "size 0" celebrities is causing women to put themselves at risk of infertility, warns leading fertility expert Professor Brian Lieberman.

More and more women are shedding the pounds in an attempt to mimic shockingly thin celebrities, without realising that dramatic weight loss can be detrimental to their fertility.

Professor Lieberman - credited with the establishment of the UK's first NHS IVF centre and founder of Manchester Fertility Services - warns that women with a body mass index (BMI) of under 19 are at risk of absent or irregular periods, resulting in infertility. The good news is that this is reversible with appropriate weight gain.

He said: “Women are playing Russian roulette with their fertility through drastic and deliberate weight loss. It's dangerous for many reasons to imitate very thin celebrities. If your BMI drops below 19, you're likely to experience irregularities in your menstrual cycle. Should you continue to lose more weight you will stop ovulating and endanger your health. Women need a critical amount of body fat to store vital oestrogen and other hormones.”

“However, this is one of the easiest forms of infertility to overcome - as long as women are made aware of their problem and gain a sufficient amount of weight, their periods and fertility should return. If not, they may need to seek advice from a fertility specialist.”

To date, more than 3,000 babies have been born thanks to the skill and dedication of Professor Brian Lieberman and his team at Manchester Fertility Services, which is based at Bridgewater Hospital in South Manchester.

Manchester Fertility Services