Omega-3 may be beneficial for women undergoing infertility treatment


Assisted reproductive technologies includes all fertility treatments that include the handling of eggs and sperm and/or embryos to help a woman become pregnant. The main type is in vitro fertilization (which involves extracting a woman’s eggs, fertilizing the eggs in the laboratory, and then transferring the resulting embryos into the woman’s uterus through the cervix), but other procedures are also used: gamete intrafallopian transfer (a procedure that involves removing eggs from the woman’s ovary and using a laparoscope to place the unfertilized eggs and sperm into the woman’s fallopian tube), zygote intrafallopian transfer (procedure in which eggs are collected from a woman’s ovary and fertilized outside her body; laparoscope is then used to place the resulting zygote into the woman’s fallopian tube through a small incision in her abdomen), tubal embryo transfer (placement of embryos into a woman’s uterus through the cervix), egg and embryo cryopreservation (freezing eggs or embryos from a patient’s cycle for potential future use), egg and embryo donation, and gestational surrogacy.

The success rates of these treatments vary depending on patient and treatment characteristics, such as age, infertility cause/type, number of embryos transferred, type of procedure, and history of previous births, miscarriages, and cycles in teatment (a cycle starts when a woman begins taking fertility drugs or having her ovaries monitored for follicle production; if eggs are produced, the cycle progresses to egg retrieval).

Intake of omega-3 fatty acids improves oocyte (previous to eggs) and embryo quality in animal and human studies, and higher levels of serum long-chain omega-3 (EPA and DHA) are associated with higher probability of pregnancy and live birth: for every 1% increase in serum omega-3 levels, the probability of pregnancy and live birth increases by 8% and 8%, respectively.

High intake of omega-3 be may be beneficial for women undergoing infertility treatment with assisted reproductive technologies.


Chiu YH, Karmon AE, Gaskins AJ, et al; EARTH Study Team. Serum omega-3 fatty acids and treatment outcomes among women undergoing assisted reproduction. Hum Reprod. 2017 Nov 10:1-10. [Epub ahead of print]

National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Division of Reproductive Health. ART Succes rates [Internet]. Atlanta: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Reproductive Health [Última actualización: noviembre 2017; fecha de consulta: noviembre 2017]. Disponible en:


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