Mens meat intake and treatment outcomes among couples undergoing assisted reproduction

Men’s poultry intake was positively related to fertilization rate in in vitro fertilization (IVF) and intracytoplasmic sperm injection cycles, while processed meat intake was inversely related to fertilization rate in IVF cycles only.


Wei Xia, M.D., Ph.D., Yu-Han Chiu, M.D., Paige L. Williams, Ph.D., Audrey J. Gaskins, Sc.D., Thomas L. Toth, M.D., Cigdem Tanrikut, M.D., Russ Hauser, M.D., Sc.D., Jorge E. Chavarro, M.D., Sc.D.

Volume 104, Issue 4, Pages 972-979



To study the relationship between men’s meat intake and clinical outcomes in couples undergoing infertility treatment with the use of assisted reproductive technology (ART).


Prospective cohort study.


Fertility center.


A total of 141 men whose female partners underwent 246 ART cycles from 2007 to 2014.


None. Total and specific types of meat intake were estimated from dietary questionnaires.

Main Outcome Measure(s):

Fertilization, implantation, clinical pregnancy, and live-birth rates per initiated cycle. Mixed-effects models account for multiple IVF cycles per woman.


There was a positive association between poultry intake and fertilization rate, with a 13% higher fertilization rate among men in the highest quartile of poultry intake compared with those in the lowest quartile (78% vs. 65%). Processed meat intake was inversely related to fertilization rate in conventional IVF cycles but not in IVF cycles using intracytoplasmic sperm injection. The adjusted fertilization rates for men in increasing quartiles of processed meat intake were 82%, 67%, 70%, and 54% in conventional IVF cycles. Men’s total meat intake, including intake of specific types of meat, was not associated with implantation, clinical pregnancy, or live-birth rates.


Poultry intake was positively associated with fertilization rates, whereas processed meat intake was negatively associated with fertilization rates among couples undergoing conventional IVF. This, however, did not translate into associations with clinical pregnancy or live-birth rates.

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