Author(s): Fbregues F, Pearrubia J, Creus M, Manau D, Casals G,
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Studies in macaques have indicated that androgens have some synergistic effects with FSH on folliculogenesis. This study investigated the usefulness of pretreatment with transdermal testosterone in low-responder IVF patients. METHODS: Randomized clinical trial including 62 infertile women who had a background of the first IVF treatment cycle cancelled because of poor follicular response. Patients were randomized in two treatment groups in their second IVF attempt. In patients in Group 1 (n = 31), transdermal application of testosterone preceding standard gonadotrophin ovarian stimulation under pituitary suppression was used. In Group 2 (n = 31 patients), ovarian stimulation was carried out with high-dose gonadotrophin in association with a minidose GnRH agonist protocol. The primary end-point was the incidence of low-responder patients. The main secondary outcome was the incidence of patients reaching ovum retrieval. RESULTS: The percentage of cycles with low response was significantly lower in Group 1 than in Group 2 (32.2 versus 71\% 95\% confidence interval for the difference, 15.7-61.6; P < 0.05). The number of patients with ovum retrieval tended to be higher in Group 1 than in Group 2 (80.6 versus 58.1\% P = 0.09), the difference reaching statistical significance (81.2 versus 41.1\%; P < 0.05) when only patients having normal basal FSH levels (16 and 17 patients in Groups 1 and 2, respectively) were considered. CONCLUSIONS: Pretreatment with transdermal testosterone may improve the ovarian sensitivity to FSH and follicular response to gonadotrophin treatment in previous low-responder IVF patients. This approach leads to an increased follicular response compared with a high-dose gonadotrophin and minidose GnRH agonist protocol.
This article was published in Hum Reprod
and referenced in Reproductive System & Sexual Disorders: Current Research