New Scientific Review: Micronutrients for Men & Women and their role in IVF Success Rates
A recent systematic review tried to evaluate if micronutrient supplementation in Men and/or Women prior to an In-Vitro-Fertilization (IVF) cycle could help improve the success rates . Overall, the amount of research that has been published regarding the use of different nutritional supplements to specifically improve IVF success rates has been lacking. This review utilized a total of 5 different studies that treated either the male partner, female partner, or both.
The patients included in this review were Men with normal sperm parameters but poor fertilization rates from previous IVF cycles, Women with PCOS who are eligible for Intracytoplasmic Injection (ICSI), Men with male-factor infertility (low morphology, sperm count, and/or motility), and Women who had previous failed 3 consecutive Intrauterine Inseminations (IUIs).
All of the studies included reported an increase in the Fertilization Rate, but only one of the studies showed an increase that was clinically significant (meaning that the results from the other studies are not as reliable).
The micronutrients used in the studies varied from minerals to antioxidants and vitamin supplements. The researchers concluded that more research is required to determine a more definitive role for male and female supplementation with micronutrients in improving success rates for IVF cycles.
This review brings to attention an important point: sperm health is similarly as important as egg quality when it comes to IVF Success. This is especially true when trying to improve natural cycle fertility success rates as many of male-factor barriers to fertility cannot be overcome, as may be possible with ICSI.
1. Arhin, S. K., Zhao, Y., Lu, X., Chetry, M., & Lu, J. (2017). Effect of micronutrient supplementation on IVF outcomes: a systematic review of the literature. Reproductive BioMedicine Online
This article is in no way a replacement for medical advice or medical care, it is advised that anyone concerned about their Health should speak with their Naturopathic Doctor or Primary Care Provider.