Mens body mass index in relation to embryo quality and clinical outcomes in couples undergoing in vitro fertilization

Men's body mass index was not associated with clinical outcomes among couples undergoing conventional IVF, but male obesity was related to lower odds of live birth after intracytoplasmic sperm injection.

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Daniela S. Colaci, M.D., M.Sc., Myriam Afeiche, Ph.D., M.P.H., Audrey J. Gaskins, B.S.E., Diane L. Wright, Ph.D., Thomas L. Toth, M.D., Cigdem Tanrikut, M.D., Russ Hauser, M.D., M.P.H., Sc.D., Jorge E. Chavarro, M.D., Sc.D.

Vol 98, Issue 5, Pages 1193-1199.e1



To evaluate the association between men's body mass index (BMI), early embryo quality and clinical outcomes in couples undergoing in vitro fertilization.


Prospective cohort study.


Fertility clinic in an academic medical center.


114 couples that underwent 172 ART cycles.



Main outcome measure:

Fertilization rate, embryo quality, implantation rate, clinical pregnancy rate, and live birth rate.


The fertilization rate was higher among obese men than among normal weight men in conventional IVF cycles. No statistically significant associations were found between men's BMI and the proportion of poor-quality embryos on day 3, slow embryo cleavage rate, or accelerated embryo cleavage rate. Men's BMI was unrelated to positive β-human chorionic gonadotropin rate, clinical pregnancy rate, or live-birth rate per embryo transfer. Among couples undergoing intracytoplasmic sperm injection, the odds of live birth in couples with obese male partners was 84% lower than the odds in couples with men with normal BMI.


Our data suggest a possible deleterious effect of male obesity on the odds of having a live birth among couples undergoing intracytoplasmic sperm injection.

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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.