The Effect of Dietary Patterns on Clinical Pregnancy and Live Birth Outcomes in Men and Women Receiving Assisted Reproductive Technologies: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Adv Nutr. 2022 Jun 1;13(3):857-874. doi: 10.1093/advances/nmac023.


The nutritional status of reproductive-aged couples can have a significant impact on fertility status, but the effect of dietary patterns on pregnancy outcomes in people using assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) is currently unknown. This review aimed to synthesize the published research investigating the relation between preconception dietary patterns and clinical pregnancy or live birth in men and women of reproductive age undergoing ART. Six electronic databases were systematically searched for original research published between January 1978 and June 2021. Original research reporting on the effect of predefined dietary patterns on either clinical pregnancy and/or live birth rates following in vitro fertilization (IVF) or intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) in men and women aged 18-49 y was eligible for inclusion. Studies were assessed for risk of bias according to the Cochrane guidelines. Included studies underwent qualitative and quantitative synthesis using random-effects model meta-analyses. Thirteen studies (12 cohort studies, 1 randomized controlled trial) reporting on 3638 participants (93% female) were included in the review. All studies had a moderate-high risk of bias. In individual studies, maternal adherence to 4 dietary patterns [Mediterranean diet (RR: 1.22; 95% CI: 1.05, 1.43), novel profertility diet (OR: 1.43; 95% CI: 1.19, 1.72), Iranian traditional medicine diet (OR: 3.9; 95% CI: 1.2, 12.8), Dutch national dietary recommendations diet (OR: 1.65; 95% CI: 1.08, 2.52)] was associated with increased likelihood of achieving a clinical pregnancy, while 2 dietary patterns [novel profertility diet (OR: 1.53; 95% CI: 1.26, 1.85), Mediterranean diet (RR: 1.25; 95% CI: 1.07, 1.45)] were associated with increased probability of live birth. Meta-analyses showed an association between adherence to the Mediterranean dietary pattern and live birth across 2 studies (OR: 1.98; 95% CI: 1.17, 3.35; I2 = 29%, n = 355), but no association with clinical pregnancy. As the relation between dietary patterns and ART outcomes is currently inconsistent, higher-quality nutrition research is required to further explore this emerging field of interest (PROSPERO registration: CRD42020188194).

Keywords: assisted reproductive technology; dietary patterns; fertility; nutrition; pregnancy.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Fertilization in Vitro*
  • Humans
  • Iran
  • Live Birth*
  • Male
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Rate
  • Reproductive Techniques, Assisted