Fatty acid composition of human follicular fluid phospholipids and fertilization rate in assisted reproductive techniques

Maghsod Shaaker, Ali Rahimipour, Mohammad Nouri, Korosh Khanaki, Masoud Darabi, Laya Farzadi, Vahideh Shahnazi, Amir Mehdizadeh*

*Corresponding author for this work
53 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Fatty acids are known to be critically important in multiple biological functions. Phospholipid fatty acids of follicular fluid, an important microenvironment for the development of oocytes, may contribute to the women's fertility and the efficacy of assisted reproduction techniques. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of fatty acid composition of follicular fluid phospholipids on women undergoing assisted reproductive techniques. Methods: Follicular fluid samples were obtained from 100 patients, referred to Tabriz Alzahra Hospital. Seventy-nine subjects underwent in vitro fertilization (IVF) and the remaining 21 underwent intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). Total lipid of follicular fluid was extracted and fatty acids were analyzed by gas-liquid chromatography. Results: Saturated fatty acids (SFA, P = 0.002) and the ratio of SFA to polyunsaturated fatty acids (P = 0.001) were correlated negatively with a number of mature oocytes after age adjustment. Linoleic acid (P = 0.006) was positively correlated, while the level of arachidonic acid was negatively correlated with fertility percentage after adjustment for body mass index, sperm count, sperm motility. Conclusion: Since phospholipids are one of the major components of lipid metabolism, the results of this study highlight the importance of this component in follicular fluid lipid metabolism. Consequently, it is proposed as an index in determination of the rate of success in assisted reproductive techniques such as IVF/ICSI.

Original languageEnglish
JournalIranian Biomedical Journal
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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