Does the environment affect IVF Success? 

Physical, chemical, psychological environmental impact human reproductive functioning. Environmental contaminants provide significant changes in human reproductive health compared with other animals. The sensitive changes in reproductive functioning also provide the adverse impact of the IVF procedure by interrupting gamete production ability in both male and female genders.

IVF and environment

It has been found that in people who live in industrial or agricultural areas, male individuals often develop a habit of tobacco smoking or chewing as well as alcohol consumption. Both administrations of tobacco and alcohol play an adverse role in IVF outcomes. Research studies had shown that tobacco and alcohol administration damages DNA among smokers. This evidence comes from blood and sperm test results. Prolong exposure to environmental toxicants can cause chromosomal abnormality in sperm. Exposure to environmental toxicants also can also hamper female reproduction function.

Urbanity is one of the causes of a sedentary lifestyle which leads to increase BMI. Increase BMI often interfere the IVF success rate in terms of difficulty in getting pregnant as well as live birth rate are much lower in the obese female.

Exposure to environmental toxicants can cause an increased level of oxidative stress by generating reactive oxygen species (ROS). Increase the level of ROS harmful for semen quality by affecting fluidity, functionality, and structure but also interferes in embryo formation and quality.

Following are certain environmental toxicants and their impact on IVF:

  • Embryo cleavage in IVF treatment is common with exposure to hexachlorobenzene.
  • Increased level of DDT in the blood reduces parity, impaired lactation, decrease semen quality, impaired fertility.
  • Lead exposure decrease semen quality, increase the time to get a pregnant, and spontaneous abortion.
  • Polychlorinated biphenyls impaired ovulation response, reduce fecundability, reduce parity, and impaired lactation.
  • Dibromochloropropane decreases sperm counts and quality.


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