Can antioxidants help your IVF cycle success?

29th August 2013 in Infertility

This information was correct at the time of publishing. It may not reflect our current practices, prices or regulations.

When you’re going through IVF we understand that you’ll want to maximise your chances of success, and this may involve you wanting to try dietary supplements like antioxidants. But a review has concluded that taking such supplements doesn’t boost your chances of conceiving.

Researchers analysed data from 28 trials involving over 3,500 women who were having infertility treatment at various clinics. The results showed no significant improvement in treatment success rates when taking antioxidants compared to those who were given placebos or standard supplements.

So is there anything you can do to help influence the outcome of your IVF cycle? Although many factors are outside of your control – such as how well you respond to stimulation, how many eggs are recovered, how many fertilise and the quality of any resulting embryos – there are things you can do for yourself to ensure you are giving yourself the best chance possible.

These include having treatment when you are younger rather than putting it off, as your age at the time of treatment is important. Your fertility – egg quality and indeed sperm quality – declines as you age. Success rates for IVF are higher in younger women. So if you are considering IVF, it is better to begin treatment sooner rather than later.

Lifestyle factors such as stress, smoking, alcohol intake and your weight can all affect your fertility in both men and women. And so we always advise patients to ensure they are as healthy as they can be before beginning treatment. 

And in terms of supplements? Folic acid is currently the recommended supplement for women hoping to conceive.

If you have any questions about IVF success rates and lifestyle, don’t forget you can always use our Ask the Expert feature which allows you to post anonymous questions to our team of experts. We will post replies online. Or you can email

Last updated: 20th January 2020