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Reproductive biomedicine online

Folic acid supplementation and IVF pregnancy outcome in women with unexplained infertility.


PMID 24745837

Abstract

Folic acid supplements are commonly used by infertile women which leads to a positive folate status. However, the effect of folic acid supplements on pregnancy outcome in women with unexplained infertility has not been well investigated. This study evaluated folic acid supplement use and folate status in women with unexplained infertility in relation to IVF pregnancy outcome. In addition, use of folic acid supplements and folate status were compared between women with unexplained infertility and fertile, nonpregnant control women. Women with unexplained infertility used significantly more folic acid supplements and had higher median total folic acid intake from supplements compared with fertile control women (both P < 0.001). Women with unexplained infertility also had significantly higher median plasma folate and lower median plasma homocysteine concentrations than fertile women (both P < 0.001), but folic acid supplementation or folate status were not related to pregnancy outcome in women with unexplained infertility. In conclusion, folic acid supplementation or good folate status did not have a positive effect on pregnancy outcome following infertility treatment in women with unexplained infertility. Folate is one of the B vitamins which has been suggested to be related to infertility. Folic acid is an artificial form of folate which is commonly used in dietary supplements. Folic acid supplementation has been shown to increase folate concentrations and decrease concentrations of the amino acid homocysteine in the blood. Folic acid supplementation is commonly used by infertile women, but the effect on pregnancy outcome in women with a diagnosis of unexplained infertility has not been thoroughly investigated. In the present study, folic acid supplement use and folate status (concentrations of folate and homocysteine) in women with unexplained infertility were evaluated in relation to pregnancy outcome. In addition, the use of folic acid supplements and folate status were compared between women with unexplained infertility and fertile control women. Our results showed that women with unexplained infertility used considerably more folic acid supplements and had higher total folic acid intake from supplements compared with fertile control women. Women with unexplained infertility had better blood folate and homocysteine concentrations than fertile women, but folic acid supplementation or folate status were not related to pregnancy outcome following the infertility treatment. In conclusion, high folic acid intake or good folate status did not increase the possibility of a birth of a healthy baby after infertility treatment in women with unexplained infertility.

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