Maternal physical activity before IVF/ICSI cycles improves clinical pregnancy rate and live birth rate: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Reprod Biol Endocrinol. 2018 Feb 7;16(1):11. doi: 10.1186/s12958-018-0328-z.


Objective: This meta-analysis was aimed to evaluate the association between maternal physical activity before IVF/ICSI cycles and reproductive outcomes.

Methods: We searched databases of PubMed, EMBASE and Web of Science electronic databases, and ongoing trials up to November 2017 to identify studies that focused on the relationship between maternal physical activity before IVF/ICSI cycles and reproductive outcomes, including implantation rate, clinical pregnancy rate, miscarriage rate and live birth rate. Odds ratio (OR) with 95% confidence intervals, were calculated to assess the results of each outcome.

Results: Eight published studies encompassing 3683 infertile couples undergoing IVF/ICSI treatment were included into the analysis. There was an increasing, but not statistically significant, trend in implantation rate for physically active women when compared with physically inactive women (OR = 1.95, 95% CI 0.99-3.83, I2 = 77%). No significant difference was found in miscarriage rate between physically active women and physically inactive women (OR = 0.76, 95% CI 0.41-1.44, I2 = 49%). However, rates of clinical pregnancy and live births in physically active women were significantly higher than those in physically inactive women (OR = 1.96, 95% CI 1.40, 2.73, I2 = 42% and OR = 1.95, 95% CI 1.06-3.59, I2 = 82%, respectively). Subgroup analysis helped to confirm these results.

Conclusions: Female physical activity before IVF/ICSI cycles was associated with increased rates of clinical pregnancy and live births, whereas only a small but not statistically significant increase was found in implantation rate, and no effect was shown on miscarriage rate.

Keywords: ART; IVF/ICSI; Physical activity; Reproductive outcome.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Birth Rate*
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Fertilization in Vitro*
  • Humans
  • Live Birth*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Rate*
  • Sperm Injections, Intracytoplasmic*