Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics

, Volume 36, Issue 2, pp 291–298 | Cite as

Semen parameters on the day of oocyte retrieval predict low fertilization during conventional insemination IVF cycles

  • A. L. HarrisEmail author
  • J. C. Vanegas
  • E. Hariton
  • P. Bortoletto
  • M. Palmor
  • L. A. Humphries
  • C. Tanrikut
  • J. E. Chavarro
  • A. K. Styer
Assisted Reproduction Technologies



Poor fertilization during conventional IVF is difficult to predict in the absence of abnormal semen parameters; large-scale studies are lacking. The purpose of this study is to evaluate factors associated with low fertilization rates in conventional insemination IVF cycles.


A retrospective cohort study evaluating demographic, reproductive evaluation, and IVF cycle characteristics to identify predictors of low fertilization (defined as 2PN/MII ≤ 30% per cycle). Participants were included if they were undergoing their first IVF cycle utilizing fresh autologous oocytes and conventional insemination with male partner’s sperm (with normal pretreatment semen analysis). They were randomly divided into a training set and a validation set; validation modeling with logistic regression and binary distribution was utilized to identify covariates associated with low fertilization.


Postprocessing sperm concentration of less than 40 million/ml and postprocessing sperm motility < 50% on the day of retrieval were the strongest predictors of low fertilization in the training dataset. Next, in the validation set, cycles with either low postprocessing concentration (≤ 40 million/ml) or low postprocessing progressive motility (≤ 50%) were 2.9–times (95% CI 1.4, 6.2) more likely to have low fertilization than cycles without either risk factor. Furthermore, cycles with low postprocessing concentration and progressive motility were 13.4 times (95% CI 4.01, 45.06) more likely to have low fertilization than cycles without either risk factor.


Postprocessing concentration and progressive motility on the day of oocyte retrieval are predictive of low fertilization in conventional IVF cycles with normal pretreatment diagnostic semen analysis parameters.


In vitro fertilization Conventional insemination Assisted reproductive technologies Semen analysis 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

10815_2018_1336_MOESM1_ESM.docx (13 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 12 kb)
10815_2018_1336_MOESM2_ESM.docx (13 kb)
ESM 2 (DOCX 12 kb)


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Copyright information

© This is a U.S. Government work and not under copyright protection in the US; foreign copyright protection may apply 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Massachusetts General Hospital Fertility Center, Vincent Memorial Obstetrics and Gynecology ServiceBostonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive BiologyHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  3. 3.Department of NutritionHarvard T.H. Chan School of Public HealthBostonUSA
  4. 4.Department of EpidemiologyHarvard T.H. Chan School of Public HealthBostonUSA
  5. 5.Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  6. 6.Department of UrologyMassachusetts General HospitalBostonUSA
  7. 7.Department of SurgeryHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  8. 8.Channing Division of Network Medicine, Department of MedicineBrigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA

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