Impact of Contraception and IVF Hormones on Metabolic, Endocrine, and Inflammatory Status

J Assist Reprod Genet. 2020 Jun;37(6):1267-1272. doi: 10.1007/s10815-020-01756-z. Epub 2020 Mar 25.


Assisted reproductive technologies (ART) represent commonly utilized management strategies for infertility with multifactorial causes (including genetically predisposed diseases). Amongst ART, in vitro fertilization (IVF) is the most popular. IVF treatment may predispose the mother to increased risks and complications during pregnancy, and there may be adverse fetal outcomes. Hormonal therapies, including oral contraceptives, may impair glucose and lipid metabolism, and promote insulin resistance and inflammation. IVF treatment involves administration of reproductive hormones, similar in composition but in much higher doses than those used for oral contraception. The provision of IVF reproductive hormones to mice associates with glucose intolerance. In addition, the physiological and hormonal changes of pregnancy can trigger an inflammatory response, and metabolic and endocrine changes. There is controversy regarding the potential effects of IVF hormonal therapies in the promotion of diabetogenic and inflammatory states, additional to those that occur during pregnancy, and which may therefore predispose women with IVF-conceived pregnancies to adverse obstetric outcomes compared with women with spontaneously conceived pregnancies. This review summarizes the limited published evidence regarding the effect of IVF-based fertility therapies on glucose homeostasis, insulin resistance, cardio-metabolic profile, and markers of inflammation.

Keywords: Assisted reproduction; Gestational diabetes; IVF; Infertility; Pregnancy.

Publication types

  • Review