A substantial body of research on mammalian gametogenesis and human reproduction has recently investigated the effect of myo-inositol (MyoIns) on oocyte and sperm cell quality, due to its possible application to medically assisted reproduction. With a growing number of both clinical and basic research papers, the meaning of several observations now needs to be interpreted under a solid and rigorous physiological framework. The 2013 Florence International Consensus Conference on Myo- and D-chiro-inositol in obstetrics and gynecology has answered a number of research questions concerning the use of the two stereoisomers in assisted reproductive technologies. Available clinical trials and studies on the physiological and pharmacological effects of these molecules have been surveyed. Specifically, the physiological involvement of MyoIns in oocyte maturation and sperm cell functions has been discussed, providing an answer to the following questions: (1) Are inositols physiologically involved in oocyte maturation? (2) Are inositols involved in the physiology of spermatozoa function? (3) Is treatment with inositols helpful within assisted reproduction technology cycles? (4) Are there any differences in clinical efficacy between MyoIns and D-chiro-inositol? The conclusions of this Conference, drawn depending on expert panel opinions and shared with all the participants, are summarized in this review paper.
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