Lifestyle factors including cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption and nutritional habits impact on health, wellness, and the risk of chronic diseases. In the areas of in-vitro fertilization (IVF) and pregnancy, lifestyle factors influence oocyte production, fertilization rates, pregnancy and pregnancy loss, while chronic, low-grade oxidative stress may underlie poor outcomes for some IVF cases.
Here, we review the current literature and present some original, previously unpublished data, obtained from couples attending the PIVET Medical Centre in Western Australia.
During the study, 80 % of females and 70 % of male partners completed a 1-week diary documenting their smoking, alcohol and fruit and vegetable intake. The subsequent clinical outcomes of their IVF treatment such as quantity of oocytes collected, fertilization rates, pregnancy and pregnancy loss were submitted to multiple regression analysis, in order to investigate the relationship between patients, treatment and the recorded lifestyle factors. Of significance, it was found that male smoking caused an increased risk of pregnancy loss (p = 0.029), while female smoking caused an adverse effect on ovarian reserve. Both alcohol consumption (β = 0.074, p < 0.001) and fruit and vegetable consumption (β = 0.034, p < 0.001) had positive effects on fertilization.
Based on our results and the current literature, there is an important impact of lifestyle factors on IVF clinical outcomes. Currently, there are conflicting results regarding other lifestyle factors such as nutritional habits and alcohol consumption, but it is apparent that chronic oxidative stress induced by lifestyle factors and poor nutritional habits associate with a lower rate of IVF success.