The Effects of Lifestyle Factors and Fertility-Specific Quality of Life on IVF Outcomes

The Effects of Lifestyle Factors and Fertility-Specific Quality of Life on IVF Outcomes

In vitro fertilization (IVF) is an ideal treatment option for many couples struggling with infertility. However, success rates are highly dependable on many factors. A new study published in the journal Frontiers in Endocrinology explores the impact of lifestyle factors and patients’ fertility specific quality of life (QOL) on IVF outcomes.

Lifestyle, Quality of Life, and Fertility

While many studies have found a connection between lifestyle factors (such as diet, sleep and exercise) and overall reproductive health, limited data exists on whether fertility-specific QOL is linked to infertility treatment outcomes.

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines quality of life as ‘individuals’ perceptions of their position in life in the context of the culture and value systems in which they live and in relation to their goals, expectations, standards and concerns. However, quality of life must be assessed from both a general and disease-specific perspective. To achieve this, various methods are used, including the Fertility Quality of Life tool (FertiQoL). This tool has been used to assess patient satisfaction, the QOL of patients undergoing infertility treatment and of those with polycystic ovary syndrome, but few reports exist on its connection to infertility treatment outcomes. This study, titled “Lifestyle and fertility-specific quality of life affect reproductive outcomes in couples undergoing in vitro fertilization” aimed to bridge this gap by examining the impact of lifestyle, including dietary habits and physical activity, and fertility-specific QOL on ART outcomes.

The study, involving 291 women undergoing their first ART cycle at various centers in Japan, utilized questionnaires to evaluate the impact of diet, physical activity, sleep patterns, computer use duration, and fertility-specific QOL on IVF outcomes. The study yielded some interesting findings, including:

  • Diet: frequent fish consumption showed a tendency to be negatively associated with the development of good quality blastocysts per oocyte retrieval. Frequent intake of olive oil appeared to be positively linked to gestational sac detection.
  • Sleep and screen time: A positive pregnancy test showed a tendency to be linked with longer sleep duration. Interestingly, longer computer use emerged as a significant factor associated with both positive pregnancy tests and gestational sac detection, particularly after single embryo transfers
  • Partner habits: the presence of a smoking partner was found to be negatively associated with a positive pregnancy test. This highlights the potential influence of a partner’s lifestyle on IVF success.
  • Fertility-specific QOL: The study observed a tendency for higher FertiQoL scores (indicating better emotional well-being related to fertility) to be associated with a greater likelihood of gestational sac detection after single embryo transfers.

The Link Between Lifestyle and IVF Outcomes

The study provides valuable insights into the potential influence of modifiable lifestyle factors on IVF outcomes. While further investigation is needed, the findings suggest that olive oil may be an important factor in dietary habits, and discouraging smoking by partners and addressing the emotional aspects of infertility may improve treatment outcomes.

Based on these findings, fertility providers can recommend a holistic approach to fertility care that integrates lifestyle evaluations and personalized recommendations alongside standard IVF protocols. By promoting healthy habits and addressing fertility-specific QOL concerns, healthcare professionals can empower couples undergoing IVF and potentially increase their chances of achieving a successful pregnancy.

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