The appraisal of body content (ABC) trial: obesity does not significantly impact gamete production in infertile men and women

Kim J, Juneau C, Patounakis G, Morin S J, Neal S, Seli E, Scott R T,
J Assist Reprod Genet. Nov. 2020 doi: 10.1007/s10815-020-01930-3


PURPOSE: As obesity becomes increasingly prevalent, its impact on fertility has been a subject of great debate. Nearly all prior research is retrospective and evaluates obesity utilizing body mass index (BMI), which may overestimate adiposity in individuals with a greater amount of lean muscle and underestimate adiposity in those with less muscle mass. METHODS: We prospectively evaluated 2013 couples undergoing infertility treatment with in vitro fertilization (IVF). Percent body fat (%BF) was measured by use of a bioelectric impedance analysis (BIA) scale at baseline. BMI was also determined. Ovarian reserve parameters, ovarian response to controlled ovarian hyperstimulation, and semen analyses were measured in correlation with their %BF and BMI. RESULTS: Females classified as obese based on %BF or BMI had lower serum FSH. However, when the analysis was limited to women without PCOS (n = 1706), obesity based on %BF or BMI was associated with lower serum AMH. Female obesity-regardless of a PCOS diagnosis-did not affect number of mature oocytes retrieved. Males who were in obese %BF category were found to have lower TMSC compared with normal weight counterparts (p < 0.05); however, the observed decrease was not significant enough to limit the success of assisted reproductive technologies. CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that while obesity may affect ovarian reserve in women variably depending on presence of PCOS, it does not affect number of mature oocytes available after COH. Similarly, while a high %BF in males is associated with lower TMSC, the observed difference is unlikely to affect IVF outcomes.