The Influence ofROS and Total Antioxidant Capacity in IVF and ICSI Cycles

Women who have undergone IVF have a tendency toward higher levels of ROS in their follicular fluid than those who conceive naturally [170]. Bedaiwy et al. [173] assessed day 1 culture media ROS effects on fertilization rates, cleavage rates, fragmentation, and blastocyst formation after prolonged culture. The authors compared conventional IVF with ICSI in order to determine which technique produced higher ROS levels. The results showed that slow development, high fragmentation, and reduced formation of morphologically normal blastocysts were associated with increased levels of day 1 ROS. This study did not show any significant difference in fertilization rates and blas-tocyst development rates in IVF cycles, but significant reduction in these outcomes was reported in ICSI cycles with higher day-1 ROS levels [173],

In more recent study, Aurrekoetxea et al. describe, for the first time, serum oxi-dizability and antioxidant status in women undergoing an IVF cycle. The author found that the serum is less protected from oxidation after the cycle, showing a lower resistance to in vitro oxidation, reduced total antioxidant activity (TAA), and decreased levels of hydrophilic antioxidants and vitamin E. These results strongly suggest increased ROS production and the presence of oxidative stress [212].

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