Scientific Update: Oral Hygiene and Fertility Success Rates
As technology to assist in the treatment of infertility continues to improve, the success rates for Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ARTs) continues to remain relatively low. This has sparked interest in the scientific community to continue to explore adjunctive treatment options or underlying causes that may be contributing to the low success rate or high infertility rates.
A series of scientific studies has observed a correlation between poor oral hygiene and dental health issues with cardiovascular disease. It has even been observed that poor periodontal health is associated with an increased risk for type 2 diabetes, preterm labour, and low birth weight of babies.
A recently published review evaluated for periodontitis and infertility rates. Though the number of studies are limited, the current evidence suggests a connection between the two. It was observed that periodontitis (a soft-tissue infection of the gums in the mouth) is associated with lower IVF success rates and lower natural fertility success rates. There was also an observed correlation between male-factor infertility and periodontitis.
Strategies to help Support Oral Hygiene:
Regular brushing and flossing
Oil Pulling: a technique that uses a bit of coconut oil and is swished around in the mouth for a couple of minutes. This may be helpful in breaking down the biofilms that bacteria form.
Using a herbal mouth wash: adding a bit of calendula and commiphora myrrh tincture in small amounts to water can help to soothe irritated gums and support healing of irritated or sensitive areas.
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.
1. Khanna, S. S., Dhaimade, P. A., & Malhotra, S. (2017). Oral Health Status and Fertility Treatment Including IVF. The Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology of India, 67(6), 400-404.