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Does coenzyme Q10 supplementation improve fertility outcomes in women undergoing assisted reproduction?

In a nutshell

This study investigated if coenzyme Q10 (coQ10) improves fertility outcomes in women undergoing assisted reproduction (AR).

They found that coQ10 supplementation may increase the clinical pregnancy rate (CPR). 

Some background

Assisted reproduction (AR) is used to treat infertility. AR includes procedures like in vitro fertilization (IVF). Improving fertility outcomes with AR is of great interest. Certain supplements could help improve fertility outcomes.

Antioxidants are compounds found naturally in the body. They are also produced in synthetic form. Many people take antioxidants to improve their overall health. Antioxidants reduce reactive oxygen species (ROS). ROS can cause damage to DNA. DNA damage is linked to infertility. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is an antioxidant. Many studies have investigated the role of CoQ10 in infertility. Some studies suggest there may be an effect. However, most of these studies were small. It is not clear if CoQ10 supplementation improves fertility outcomes in couples undergoing AR.

Methods & findings

This study analyzed 5 clinical reports with women undergoing AR. 449 women were included in the analysis. 215 women were treated with CoQ10. 234 women received a placebo or no treatment at all. The fertility outcomes compared among groups were clinical pregnancy rate (CPR) and live birth rate (LBR). 

CoQ10 oral supplementation was associated with a significantly higher CPR (28.8%) compared to a placebo or no treatment (14.1%). The chance of achieving a pregnancy was 2.44-times greater with CoQ10 supplementation. This effect was also found in women with polycystic ovarian syndrome ( PCOS) and poor ovarian response. There was no significant effect on LBR or miscarriage rates (MCR).

Methods & findings
The bottom line

The authors concluded that coQ10 supplementation may increase CPR in women undergoing AR.

The fine print

Only 2-3 studies reported LBR and MCR. This means there was less data on these fertility outcomes compared to CPR. More studies on CoQ10-S are needed. 

What’s next?

If you have any concerns regarding infertility please consult with your doctor. 

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Published By: Journal of assisted reproduction and genetics
Date: Nov 11, 2020
Original Title: Does coenzyme Q10 supplementation improve fertility outcomes in women undergoing assisted reproductive technology procedures? A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized-controlled trials.

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