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Association of body mass index with primary and secondary infertility among infertile women in Mangalore: A cross-sectional study

Keerthana Dhandapani, Bhagyalakshmi Kodavanji, N A Vinodini.


Background: Studies have shown that overweight and underweight can contribute to fertility problems. There is a significant paucity of data in the Indian context regarding the effect of body mass index (BMI) on infertility in women.

Aims and Objective: To find the association of BMI with primary and secondary infertility among infertile women in Mangalore.

Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study included 204 infertile women (18–45 years) from a tertiary care hospital in Mangalore. Primary and secondary infertility were classified based on the infertility definitions of the World Health Organization. Weight and height were used to calculate BMI (kg/m2).

Result: This study showed that infertile women with overweight were maximum 87 (42.65%), followed by women with normal BMI 85 (41.67%), underweight 17 (8.33%), and obese 15 (7.35%). Of 204 infertile women, 137 (67.2%) had primary infertility and 67 (32.8%) had secondary infertility. Of 137 women with primary infertility, 12 (8.8%) were underweight, 55 (40.1%) were normal BMI, 62 (45.3%) were overweight, and 8 (5.8%) were obese. Of 67 women with secondary infertility, 5 (7.5%) were underweight, 30 (44.8%) were normal BMI, 25 (37.3%) were overweight, and 7 (10.4%) were obese. Deviation of weight from normal BMI was more in primary infertility (59.9%) than in secondary infertility (55.2%).

Conclusion: Both overweight and underweight is a preventable risk factor for infertility and precautionary measures to manage them may be an effective means of reducing the risk of infertility and other associated disorders. Future studies are needed to understand if correction of weight improves fertility in these women.

Key words: Body Mass Index; Primary Infertility; Secondary Infertility; Tertiary Care Hospitals; Mangalore, Female Infertility

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