Does duration of abstinence affect the live-birth rate after assisted reproductive technology? A retrospective analysis of 1,030 cycles

Current retrospective analysis evaluating the influence of abstinence period revealed an adverse impact of a long duration of abstinence on assisted reproductive technologies outcomes compared with the standard abstinence period.

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Volume 108, Issue 6, Pages 988–992


Anurekha J. Periyasamy, M.D., D.N.B., Gowri Mahasampath, M.Sc., Muthukumar Karthikeyan, M.Sc., M.Phil., Ann M. Mangalaraj, M.Sc., Aleyamma T. Kunjummen, M.D., D.N.B., Mohan S. Kamath, M.S., D.N.B.



To study influence of abstinence period on the live-birth rate after assisted reproductive technology (ART).


Retrospective cohort study.


Reproductive medicine unit, university-level hospital.


A total 1,030 ART cycles evaluated from 2011 to 2015.


Group I, abstinence period 2–7 days, and group II, abstinence period >7 days, were compared. Two subgroups Ia (2–4 days) and Ib (5–7 days) were also compared with group II.

Main Outcome Measure(s)

Primary outcome was live birth per ET. Secondary outcomes included implantation, clinical pregnancy, and miscarriage rates.


The live-birth rate (34.1 % vs. 24.1%; odds ratio [OR], 1.6; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.1–2.4), clinical pregnancy rate (44.4 % vs. 32.7%; OR, 1.6; 95% CI, 1.1–2.3), and implantation rate (26.4% vs. 18.2%) were significantly higher in group I compared with group II. Other secondary outcomes of fertilization rate and miscarriage rate did not differ between groups I and II. The adjusted odds ratio (aOR) for live birth (aOR, 1.6; 95% CI, 1.1–2.5) and clinical pregnancy rates (aOR, 1.7; 95% CI, 1.2–2.5) were significantly higher for group I compared with group II. The live-birth rate was significantly higher in group Ia (36.1% vs. 24.1%) compared with group II.


An abstinence period of more than 7 days may impact ART outcomes adversely when compared with an abstinence period of 2–7 days.

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Fertility and Sterility

Editorial Office, American Society for Reproductive Medicine

Fertility and Sterility® is an international journal for obstetricians, gynecologists, reproductive endocrinologists, urologists, basic scientists and others who treat and investigate problems of infertility and human reproductive disorders.