Skip to main content

31-01-2010 | Gynaecology | Article

ESHRE recommends lifestyle changes an IVF requirement for high-risk patients


Full article

MedWire News: The European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) has published a position statement detailing to what extent fertility treatment for patients who are obese, smoke, or drink excessively should be made conditional upon prior lifestyle changes.

“Given their active role in the realization of the couple’s reproductive plans, medical professionals (and society) are not acting unjustly when requiring patient compliance with lifestyle recommendations for which there is sufficient evidence that this would lead to improved outcomes and reduced risks, for both the woman and child-to-be,” said Wybo Dondorp (Maastricht University, The Netherlands) and co-authors.

Based on current findings regarding the impact of obesity, smoking, and alcohol consumption on natural and assisted reproduction, the team made various recommendations.

Fertility specialists should refuse treatment to women drinking more than moderate amounts (over 2 units per day) of alcohol, who are not willing or able to minimize their consumption.

Treating women with severe or morbid obesity requires special justification. In addition, since a positive effect of weight loss and smoking cessation can be reasonably assumed, fertility specialists should insist that a serious effort be made to achieve these results. However, the authors deemed that an exception could be made in women approaching the end of their fertile period.

Finally, physicians should assist their patients in achieving the intended results when assisted reproduction treatment is made conditional on lifestyle modification.

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a trading division of Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2010

By Ingrid Grasmo