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Male’s lifestyle contributes to IVF outcomes

In vitro fertilization (IVF) has a greater chance of succeeding if men eat more fruit and grains and limit their consumption of red meat, alcohol, and coffee, a new study suggests.

The observational study, published online November 10 in Fertility and Sterility, enrolled 250 men who were undergoing intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) with their partners at a private assisted reproduction center in Brazil. Researchers recorded diet and social habits (such as smoking) and evaluated semen parameters (eg, sperm concentration and motility) and ICSI outcomes. Eating more grains and more meals per day had a positive effect on sperm concentration; higher alcohol consumption and body mass index (BMI) had a negative effect. Sperm motility benefited from a diet high in fruits and grains but was impaired by higher BMI, alcohol consumption, and smoking.

With regard to ICSI outcomes, the authors note that “the consumption of alcohol had a negative influence on the fertilization rate. The consumption of red meat as well as being on a weight-loss diet had a negative impact on the implantation rate.” Coffee consumption also negatively affected the fertilization rate.

The authors speculate that smoking may increase the risk of oxidative stress to sperm by decreasing levels of antioxidants in seminal plasma and that excessive alcohol consumption may increase systemic oxidative stress. Consuming fruits and grains and eating more meals per day, on the other hand, may improve semen quality by boosting intake of minerals, essential amino acids, and antioxidant vitamins.

Noting that the influence of diet and lifestyle on reproductive outcomes has received greater emphasis in women than men, the authors write that their findings suggest “that couples seeking ART [assisted reproduction techniques] must be advised about the adverse effects of both the male and female lifestyles on treatment success.”

Article by: Contemporary OB/GYN Staff

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