Oxidative stress and reproductive health


  • О. А. Ефименко SI “Institute of Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology of the NAMS of Ukraine”, Ukraine https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1228-0911
  • А. М. Юзько Ukrainian Association of Reproductive Medicine, Ukraine
  • Н. В. Яроцкая SI “O.M. Lukyanova Institute of Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology of the NAMS of Ukraine”, Ukraine https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0134-920X




oxidative stress, assisted reproductive technologies, D-chiro-inositol, DCI


Oxidative stress is the result of overproduction of reactive oxygen species in relation to antioxidant defense levels. Physiological oxidative stress a priori exists in the women and men, but with an excess of radical compounds, it can acquire a pathological character.

Oxidative stress may contribute to aging and several diseased states affecting female and male reproduction. Endothelial dysfunction secondary to oxidative stress contributes to the development of obstetric complications such as early and recurrent pregnancy loss, preeclampsia, intrauterine growth restriction, and preterm labor. Reactive oxygen and nitrogen species can negatively affect embryo implantation and may influence the development of reproductive disorders such as endometriosis and preeclampsia. Altered vasomotor functions have been demonstrated by failed embryo implantation and reduced placental perfusion in preeclampsia and endometriosis.

The effects of free radicals on oocytes, sperm, and embryos have been implicated in poor reproductive outcomes in assisted reproductive techniques. The in vitro environment subjects gametes and embryos to an abundance of reactive oxygen species in the absence of enzymatic antioxidant defenses that are normally present during in vivo fertilization and pregnancy. Ideally, assisted reproductive techniques success may be attained if in vivo conditions are sufficiently imitated. To this effect, several studies have shown that antioxidants and vitamines may improve pregnancy outcomes. D-chiro-inositol (DCI) is one of such promising substances. It increases fertility due to the ovulation restoration in patients with polycystic ovaries syndrome, improves the oocytes quality, reduces oxidative and inflammatory stress, that is increases the conception probability including in assisted reproductive technologies. This gave impetus to the active inositol preparations use in the clinics of assisted reproductive technologies to obtain good quality oocytes, and reduce the hormones dose used in ovaries stimulation.

Author Biographies

О. А. Ефименко, SI “Institute of Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology of the NAMS of Ukraine”

PhD, senior researcher at the Endocrine Gynecology Department

А. М. Юзько, Ukrainian Association of Reproductive Medicine

MD, professor, president

Н. В. Яроцкая, SI “O.M. Lukyanova Institute of Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology of the NAMS of Ukraine”

Junior researcher at the Endocrine Gynecology Department


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How to Cite

Ефименко, О. А., Юзько, А. М., & Яроцкая, Н. В. (2018). Oxidative stress and reproductive health. REPRODUCTIVE ENDOCRINOLOGY, (41), 66–72. https://doi.org/10.18370/2309-4117.2018.41.66-72