Oxidative stress in pregnancy and reproduction

K. Duhig, L.C. Chappell, Andrew H Shennan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Oxidative stress is implicated in the pathophysiology of many reproductive complications including infertility, miscarriage, pre-eclampsia, fetal growth restriction and preterm labour. The presence of excess reactive oxygen species can lead to cellular damage of deoxyribonucleic acids, lipids and proteins. Antioxidants protect cells from peroxidation reactions, limiting cellular damage and helping to maintain cellular membrane integrity. There is overwhelming evidence for oxidative stress causing harm in reproduction. However, there is sparse evidence that supplementation with commonly used antioxidants (mostly vitamins C and E) makes any difference in overcoming oxidative stress or reversing disease processes. There may be potential for antioxidant therapy to ameliorate or prevent disease, but this requires a thorough understanding of the mechanism of action and specificity of currently used antioxidants.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-116
Number of pages4
JournalObstetric medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jul 2016


  • High-risk pregnancy
  • maternal–fetal medicine
  • oxidative stress
  • Infertility
  • complications


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