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Infertility and eating disorders

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      Sixty-six consecutive infertility clinic patients were prospectively screened with the 26-item Eating Attitudes Test and a study questionnaire. Women identified as being at high risk for an eating disorder were then interviewed to confirm or refute the diagnosis. A total of 7.6% of infertility clinic women were found to suffer from anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa. If eating disorders not otherwise specified were included, a total of 16.7% of infertility patients were found to suffer from an eating disorder. Among infertile women with amenorrhea or oligomenorrhea 58% had eating disorders. Because women often fail to disclose eating disorders to their gynecologists and may appear to be of normal weight, it is recommended that a nutritional and eating disorder history be taken in infertility patients, particulary those with menstrual abnormalities. It has previously been shown that disordered eating and nutrition can affect menstruation, fertility, maternal weight gain, and fetal well-being.

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