Publication date: Jul 03, 2023
SARS-CoV-2 infection has had significant effects on the health of people worldwide. Whether SARS-CoV-2 infection during controlled ovarian stimulation (COS) is associated with laboratory outcomes in assisted reproductive technology remains unclear. To investigate the association between SARS-CoV-2 infection during COS with oocyte- and embryo-related outcomes. A multicenter cohort study was conducted of couples undergoing assisted reproductive technology treatments in 7 reproductive centers in 4 provinces in China from October 1, 2022, to December 31, 2022. All couples received nucleic acid testing for SARS-CoV-2 during COS. The SARS-CoV-2-positive group included couples in which either partner was infected with SARS-CoV-2. The SARS-CoV-2-negative group comprised couples without infection. In the SARS-CoV-2-positive group, either partner was infected with SARS-CoV-2 during COS, defined as a positive test result for the SARS-CoV-2 antigen. Primary outcomes were the available embryo and blastocyst and top-quality embryo and blastocyst rates. Secondary outcomes were the number of oocytes retrieved, the mature oocyte rate, normal fertilization (2 pronuclei observed on day 1 after insemination [2PN]), oocyte degeneration, 2PN cleavage, and blastocyst formation rates. A total of 585 heterosexual couples with infertility participated in the study (median [IQR] age for female partners, 33 [30-37] years), with 135 couples in the SARS-CoV-2-positive group and 450 in the SARS-CoV-2-negative group. The characteristics of the groups were similar. The SARS-CoV-2-positive group had a significantly lower top-quality embryo rate (odds ratio [OR], 0. 83; 95% CI, 0. 71-0. 96), top-quality blastocyst rate (OR, 0. 59; 95% CI, 0. 45-0. 77), available blastocyst rate (OR, 0. 70; 95% CI, 0. 59-0. 82), and blastocyst formation rate (OR, 0. 61; 95% CI, 0. 52-0. 71) than the SARS-CoV-2-negative group. Analysis of the associations of infection by sex showed that the female positive group had impaired oocyte and embryo quality regarding mature oocyte rate, 2PN cleavage rate, top-quality embryo rate, blastocyst formation rate, available blastocyst rate, and top-quality blastocyst rate compared with the SARS-CoV-2-negative group. Compared with the SARS-CoV-2-negative group, the male positive group and the group of couples with both positive partners had significantly decreased available blastocyst rate, top-quality blastocyst rate, and blastocyst formation rate compared with the SARS-CoV-2 negative group. In this cohort study, SARS-CoV-2 infection during COS was negatively associated with embryo and blastocyst quality. Reproductive physicians should be more attentive to patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection during COS and should give couples who have been infected adequate counseling.
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