Effect of male body mass index on assisted reproduction treatment outcome: an updated systematic review and meta-analysis

Reprod Biomed Online. 2018 Apr;36(4):459-471. doi: 10.1016/j.rbmo.2018.01.002. Epub 2018 Feb 2.


Men with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or over are more likely to have reduced fertility and fecundity rates. This systematic review and meta-analysis evaluated the effect of male BMI on IVF and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) outcome. An electronic search for published literature was conducted in MEDLINE and EMBASE between 1966 and November 2016. Outcome measures were clinical pregnancy rates (CPR) and live birth rates (LBR) per IVF or ICSI cycle. Eleven studies were identified, including 14,372 cycles; nine reported CPR and seven reported LBR. Pooling of data from those studies revealed that raised male BMI was associated with a significant reduction in CPR (OR 0.78, 95% CI 0.63 to 0.98, P = 0.03) and LBR (OR 0.88, 95% CI 0.82 to 0.95, P = 0.001) per IVF-ICSI treatment cycle. Male BMI could be an important factor influencing IVF-ICSI outcome. More robust studies are needed to confirm this conclusion using standardized methods for measuring male BMI, adhering to the World Health Organization definitions of BMI categories, accounting for female BMI, IVF and ICSI cycle characteristics, including the number of embryos transferred and embryo quality, and use the live birth rate per cycle as primary outcome.

Keywords: ART; Assisted reproduction; Male BMI; Male obesity.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Birth Rate*
  • Body Mass Index*
  • Embryo Transfer
  • Fathers*
  • Female
  • Fertilization in Vitro*
  • Humans
  • Live Birth*
  • Male
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Rate
  • Sperm Injections, Intracytoplasmic*
  • Treatment Outcome