Altered preconception fatty acid intake is associated with improved pregnancy rates in overweight and obesewomen undertaking in Vitro fertilisation

Lisa J. Moran, Victoria Tsagareli, Manny Noakes, Robert Norman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


Maternal preconception diet is proposed to affect fertility. Prior research assessing the effect of altering the fatty acid profile on female fertility is conflicting. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of preconception maternal diet, specifically fatty acid profile, on pregnancies and live births following in vitro fertilisation (IVF). Forty-six overweight and obese women undergoing IVF were randomised to a diet and physical activity intervention (intervention) or standard care (control). Outcome measures included pregnancy, live birth and pre-study dietary intake from food frequency questionnaire. Twenty pregnancies (n = 12/18 vs. n = 8/20, p = 0.12) and 12 live births (n = 7/18 vs. n = 5/20, p = 0.48) occurred following the intervention with no differences between the treatment groups. On analysis adjusted for BMI and smoking status, women who became pregnant had higher levels of polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) intake (p = 0.03), specifically omega-6 PUFA and linoleic acid (LA) (p = 0.045) with a trend for an elevated intake of omega-3 PUFA (p = 0.06). There were no dietary differences for women who did or did not have a live birth. Maternal preconception PUFA, and specifically omega-6 and LA intake, are associated with improved pregnancy rates in overweight and obese women undergoing IVF. This has implications for optimising fertility through preconception nutrition.

Original languageEnglish
Article number10
Number of pages7
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Assisted reproductive technology
  • Diet
  • Exercise
  • Fertility
  • In-vitro fertilization
  • Omega 3 fatty acids
  • Pregnancy
  • Unsaturated fat
  • Weight loss

Cite this