Study Unveils Enhanced IVF Success for PCOS Women Through Ketogenic Diet

Study Unveils Enhanced IVF Success for PCOS Women Through Ketogenic Diet

In a recent publication in the journal Nutrients, a study investigated the intricate relationship between dietary interventions and the success of in vitro fertilization (IVF) in women grappling with both polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and elevated body mass. PCOS, a prevalent hormonal disorder affecting about 75% of women, disrupts ovulation, elevating the risk of anovulatory infertility. Moreover, PCOS is associated with metabolic dysfunctions, including insulin resistance and cardiovascular disease, adding complexity to the condition.

Excessive body mass significantly reduces the efficacy of assisted reproduction technologies (ART) like IVF. A higher body mass index (BMI) correlates with increased risks during IVF, such as ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) and challenges in ovulation induction. The study focused on interventions to reduce body mass in PCOS patients preparing for IVF, exploring the impact of two dietary approaches: the Mediterranean diet (MD) and a very low-calorie ketogenic diet (VLCKD).

The key findings of the study revealed that patients on VLCKD experienced significant weight loss compared to those on MD. VLCKD led to reductions in body circumferences, indicating effective fat loss. Metabolic health, as measured by the HOMA index, improved four-fold with VLCKD. VLCKD positively affected cholesterol levels and antral follicle count (AFC), a risk factor for OHSS. Menstrual cycles became more regular in VLCKD patients, surpassing outcomes in the MD group, and OHSS cases were significantly lower in the VLCKD group.

The study’s outcomes suggest that VLCKD not only aids in weight loss but also positively impacts metabolic health and reproductive outcomes. Patients expressed satisfaction with the dietary interventions, indicating the potential for improved fertility and IVF success rates in PCOS patients with high body mass. The VLCKD, with its short-term BMI compatibility for IVF therapy, presents a promising avenue for enhancing patient compliance and reproductive health. Further research is warranted to validate these findings and explore the direct impact on muscle mass compared to fat mass. This study offers hope for PCOS patients, providing insights into tailored dietary approaches that could revolutionize fertility treatments and long-term health outcomes.


  • Meneghini, C., Bianco, C., Galanti, F., et al. (2023). The impact of nutritional therapy in the management of overweight/obese PCOS patient candidates for IVF. Nutrientsdoi:10.3390/nu15204444.