Food intake and social habits in male patients and its relationship to intracytoplasmic sperm injection outcomes

Semen quality and ICSI outcomes may be influenced by food intake and social habits. Therefore, couples seeking assisted reproduction treatment must be advised about the drastic effects of both the male’s and female’s lifestyles on treatment success.


Daniela Paes de Almeida Ferreira Braga, D.V.M., M.Sc., Gabriela Halpern, M.Sc., Rita de Cássia S. Figueira, M.Sc., Amanda S. Setti, B.Sc., Assumpto Iaconelli Jr., M.D., Edson Borges Jr., M.D., Ph.D.

Volume 97, Issue 1 , Pages 53-59



To investigate the influence of the male partner’s lifestyle, including eating and social habits, on semen quality and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) success.


Observational study.


Private fertility clinic.


Two hundred fifty male patients undergoing ICSI cycles.


We recorded dietary and social habits using a food frequency questionnaire adapted to meet specific study objectives. Evaluation of semen parameters and ICSI outcomes were performed.

Main Outcome Measure(s):

Frequency of intake of food items and social habits were registered on a scale with five categories ranging from no consumption to repeated daily consumption.


The sperm concentration was negatively influenced by body mass index (BMI) and alcohol consumption and was positively influenced by cereal consumption and the number of meals per day. The sperm motility was also negatively influenced by BMI, alcohol consumption, and smoking habit, whereas it was positively influenced by the consumption of fruits and cereals. 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. In addition, the consumption of red meat and being on a weight loss diet had an effect on the pregnancy chance.


Couples seeking assisted reproduction treatments must be advised about the drastic effect of both the male and female lifestyle on treatment success.

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