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01-08-2010 | Gynaecology | Article

Overweight male partner could reduce IVF success


Journal abstract

MedWire News: The success of IVF at achieving a clinical pregnancy could be hampered if the male partner is overweight, say US researchers.

By contrast, overweight status of the male partner appears to have no effect on the success of intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), reports the team.

In a study involving 290 assisted reproduction cycles, 40 percent resulted in clinical pregnancy (intrauterine gestational sac evident on transvaginal sonogram).

Men with a normal body mass index (BMI 18.5-24.9 kg/m2) achieved significantly higher clinical pregnancy rates than overweight (BMI 25.0-29.9 kg/m2) and obese (≥30.0 kg/m2) men, at 53.2 percent, versus 35.9 and 36.1 percent, respectively.

Furthermore, after adjustment for female age, female BMI, number of embryos transferred, and sperm concentration, male overweight status was associated with a significant 79 percent decrease in the success of IVF, but only a nonsignificant 25 percent reduction in the success of ICSI.

"The finding of decreased likelihood of clinical pregnancy after IVF but not after ICSI is intriguing and suggests that ICSI may overcome an uncharacterized aspect of sperm dysfunction related to obesity," write Julia Keltz, from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, and colleagues.

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a trading division of Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2010

By Sarah Guy