NEWS
09/21/2011 06:25 EDT | Updated 11/21/2011 05:12 EST

Fertility doctors will discuss pros and cons of treatments for obese women

TORONTO - The president of the Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society says there will be a debate this weekend on the pros and cons of fertility treatments for obese women.

But Dr. Carl Laskin says there are no plans to introduce a motion at the society's conference in Toronto this week that would consider banning fertility treatments for women with high body mass indexes.

He says the society is not prepared to put a policy in place; however, guidelines may be introduced at some point in the future.

Laskin says it's a controversial subject among doctors, noting that one fertility clinic in Ontario that has set a BMI limit has been criticized by patients who feel it's unfair and discriminatory.

Laskin says his own personal opinion is that part of the treatment for an obese woman is to get her into the best possible physical condition she can be in before helping her get pregnant.

He says obese women usually do not respond as well to fertility drugs, and their pregnancies can come with a higher risk of diabetes, high blood pressure and premature birth.

Saturday's debate will feature Dr. Arya Sharma, an obesity expert from Edmonton, and Dr. Anthony Cheung, a fertility expert from Vancouver.

Laskin said he wouldn't be surprised to hear someone suggest a guideline on BMI and fertility treatments at the end of the debate.

"Guidelines take months to do," Laskin said in an interview Wednesday. "I would not anticipate seeing a guideline for this probably for about two years."