BMJ Open (2020-11-01)

Pretreatment maternal lifestyle and outcomes of assisted reproduction: an Italian cohort study

  • Carlo Agostoni,
  • Fabio Parazzini,
  • Elena Ricci,
  • Stefania Noli,
  • Stefania Ferrari,
  • Irene La Vecchia,
  • Valentina De Cosmi,
  • Marta Castiglioni,
  • Sonia Cipriani,
  • Paola Agnese Mauri

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 10, no. 11


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Objective We investigated whether lifestyle affects assisted reproduction technology (ART) outcomes.Design Cohort study.Setting Italian fertility unit.Participants From September 2014 to December 2016, women from couples presenting for evaluation and eligible for ART were invited to participate. Information on alcohol intake, current smoking and leisure physical activity (PA) during the year before the interview was collected, using a structured questionnaire. We considered the ART outcomes of the cycle immediately following the interview.Primary and secondary outcome measures The primary outcome measure was cumulative pregnancy rate per retrieval. Secondary measures were number of retrieved oocytes, embryo transfer and live birth.Results In 492 women undergoing an ART cycle, 427 (86.8%) underwent embryo transfer, 157 (31.9%) had at least one clinical pregnancy and 121 (24.6%) had live birth. The cumulative pregnancy rate per retrieval was 33.3% (95% CI 28.5% to 38.7%). In women in the third tertile of alcohol intake, adjusted relative risk was 0.97 (95% CI 0.87 to 1.08), 0.90 (95% CI 0.62 to 1.30) and 0.89 (95% CI 0.57 to 1.37) for embryo transfer, clinical pregnancy and live birth, respectively. The corresponding figures in women currently smoking more than 5 cigarettes/day were 1.00 (95% CI 0.88 to 1.16), 0.94 (95% CI 0.60 to 1.48) and 1.14 (95% CI 0.68 to 1.90), and in women with PA ≥5 hours/week were 0.93 (95% CI 0.79 to 1.08), 0.44 (95% CI 0.22 to 0.90) and 0.48 (95% CI 0.22 to 1.05), respectively.Conclusion There were no significant differences in in vitro fertilisation outcomes among women who used alcohol or tobacco in the year prior to treatment. Conservatively, all women should be advised to limit substance abuse. Moreover, our study suggested that maintaining a moderate, but not high, level of PA could be beneficial.