Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics

, Volume 270, Issue 4, pp 205–210

The effect of obesity on the outcome of infertility management in women with polycystic ovary syndrome

  • Majedah Al-Azemi
  • Florence E. Omu
  • Alexander E. Omu
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00404-003-0537-2

Cite this article as:
Al-Azemi, M., Omu, F.E. & Omu, A.E. Arch Gynecol Obstet (2004) 270: 205. doi:10.1007/s00404-003-0537-2



Obesity has become a worldwide epidemic with ever increasing incidence and public health problems in both developing and developed countries.


The objective of the study is to investigate the incidence of obesity among patients with polycystic ovarian syndrome attending infertility clinic and the effect on treatment outcome.


Two hundred and seventy women with polycystic ovarian syndrome attending the infertility clinic were evaluated clinically, biochemically, and laparoscopically. They were stratified according to their body mass index (BMI) as follows: normal weight: 18–24; overweight: 25–29, obese:30–34, and grossly obese: ≥35. Therapy included induction of ovulation with clomiphene citrate and gonadotrophins. The patients were followed up through during induction of ovulation and pregnancy.


There were ethnic differences in mean BMI. Significantly more obese women had oligomenorrhoea (p<0.01) and anovulation (p<0.01) than women with normal weight. Obesity adversely affected the outcome of ovulation induction with clomiphene citrate and gonadotrophins; 79% of women with BMI 18–24 ovulated at 6 months compared to 15.3% in those with BMI 30–34 (p<0.001) and 11.8% in women with BMI ≥35 (p<0.001). The pregnancy rate and outcome were also adversely affected by obesity.


Obesity has a negative impact on the outcome of treatment of infertility. Weight reduction programme should be an essential component of infertility management.



Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Majedah Al-Azemi
    • 1
    • 3
    • 4
  • Florence E. Omu
    • 2
  • Alexander E. Omu
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of MedicineKuwait UniversityKuwait
  2. 2.College of Health SciencesKuwait
  3. 3.Maternity HospitalKuwait
  4. 4.SafatKuwait