'Anorexia nervosa in pregnant women leads to underweight babies'

Although anorexic women can still become pregnant naturally or with the aid of ovulation-stimulating fertility medications, eating disorders can affect menstruation.
Representative image
Representative image

WASHINGTON: According to a new study, pregnant women with the eating disorder anorexia nervosa run five times the risk to give birth to underweight babies.

The 38th Annual Meeting of ESHRE results also demonstrates a significantly elevated risk (298%) of premature birth and a more than doubled likelihood (341%) of placental abruption.

This is contrasted with mothers who do not have anorexia, which is frequently a persistent mental illness.

The analysis's specifics will be described by Ido Feferkorn, MD of McGill University in Montreal, Canada.

This severe psychiatric illness, marked by hunger and malnutrition, was based on data from more than 9 million women, both with and without anorexia. When compared to the results for the offspring of women with a healthy weight, Dr. Feferkorn highlighted the findings on the incidence of small-for-gestational-age neonates in particular as "shockingly greater."

Although anorexic women can still become pregnant naturally or with the aid of ovulation-stimulating fertility medications, eating disorders can affect menstruation.

According to Dr. Feferkorn, the study's findings sent a severe health warning regarding how these patients should be managed both during and after pregnancy.

Many fertility doctors struggle with the challenge of treating malnourished women, he noted. Or, by refusing to do so, you can deprive these patients of the satisfaction of becoming parents.

Clinics should be aware of the severity of unfavourable pregnancy outcomes among anorexic patients who do conceive. Data were derived from a sizable, publicly accessible database of inpatient hospital treatment records in the US.

Both pregnancies in which a woman was diagnosed with anorexia during pregnancy (n = 214) and pregnancies in which she was not (n = 9,096,574) were included.

Overall, the findings indicated that anorexic women experienced considerable negative pregnancy outcomes.

Additionally, they demonstrated that these people were more likely to smoke, have thyroid disease, be Caucasian, have better incomes, and have other psychiatric conditions in addition to their eating issues.

The rates for other conditions that may affect pregnant women did not differ.

These included chorioamnionitis, placenta previa, gestational diabetes, hypertensive disorders, and postpartum haemorrhage.

Compared to women without anorexia, there was no greater requirement for a Caesarean section.

The authors were unable to evaluate the degree of anorexia or treatment compliance, which is one of the study's weaknesses.

According to Dr Feferkorn, one general interpretation of the data is that women should be evaluated for anorexia before receiving fertility treatment.

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