Peri-implantation glucocorticoid administration for assisted reproductive technology cycles
ABSTRACT In order to improve embryo implantation in in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) or intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) cycles, the use of glucocorticoids has been advocated. It has been proposed that glucocorticoids may improve the intra-uterine environment by acting as immuno modulators to reduce the uterine NK cell count, normalise the cytokine expression profile in the endometrium and by suppression of endometrial inflammation.
To investigate whether the administration of glucocorticoids around the time of implantation improves clinical outcomes in subfertile women undergoing IVF or ICSI, compared to no glucocorticoid administration.
The Cochrane Menstrual Disorders and Subfertility Group's trials register (February 2006), the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (Cochrane Library Issue 2, 2006), MEDLINE (1966 to June 2006), EMBASE (1976 to June 2006), CINAHL (1982 to June 2006) and Science Direct (1966 to June 2006) were searched. Reference lists of relevant articles and relevant conference proceedings were also hand searched.
All randomised controlled trials (RCTs) addressing the research question were included.
Two reviewers independently assessed eligibility and quality of trials and extracted relevant data.
Thirteen studies (1759 couples) were included. Three studies reported live birth rate and these did not identify a significant difference after pooling the (preliminary) results (OR 1.21, 95% CI 0.67 to 2.19). With regard to pregnancy rates, there was also no evidence that glucocorticoids improved clinical outcome (13 RCTs; OR 1.16, 95% CI 0.94 to 1.44). However, a subgroup analysis of 650 women undergoing IVF (6 RCTs) revealed a significantly higher pregnancy rate for women using glucocorticoids (OR 1.50, 95% CI 1.05 to 2.13). There were no significant differences in adverse events, but these were poorly and inconsistently reported.
Overall, there is no clear evidence that administration of peri-implantation glucocorticoids in ART cycles significantly improves clinical outcome. The use of glucocorticoids in women undergoing IVF (rather than ICSI) was associated with an improvement in pregnancy rates of borderline statistical significance. These findings are limited to the routine use of glucocorticoids and cannot be extrapolated to women with auto-antibodies, unexplained infertility or recurrent implantation failure. Further well designed randomised studies are required to elucidate the possible role of this therapy in well defined patient groups.
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ABSTRACT: Parenthood is a fundamental feature of all known life. However, infertility has been recognized as a public health issue worldwide. But even when the offspring are conceived, in utero problems can lead to immediate (abortion), early (birth), and late (adulthood) consequences. One of the most studied factors is stress. However, stress response is, per se, of adaptive nature allowing the organism to cope with challenges. Stressors lead to deterioration if one is faced with too long lasting, too many, and seemingly unsolvable situations. In stress adaptation the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenocortical axis and the resulting glucocorticoid elevation are one of the most important mechanisms. At cellular level stress can be defined as an unbalance between production of free radicals and antioxidant defenses. Oxidative stress is widely accepted as an important pathogenic mechanism in different diseases including infertility. On the other hand, the goal of free radical production is to protect the cells from infectious entities. This review aims to summarize the negative and positive influence of stress on reproduction as a process leading to healthy progeny. Special emphasis was given to the balance at the level of the organism and cells.International Journal of Endocrinology 01/2015; 2015:1-10. DOI:10.1155/2015/458129 · 1.52 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The majority of pregnancy loss in ruminants occurs during the first three weeks after conception, particularly during the period of conceptus elongation that occurs prior to pregnancy recognition and implantation. This review integrates established and new information on the biological role of ovarian progesterone (P4), prostaglandins (PGs), interferon tau (IFNT) and cortisol in endometrial function and conceptus elongation. Progesterone is secreted by the ovarian corpus luteum (CL) and is the unequivocal hormone of pregnancy. Prostaglandins (PGs) and cortisol are produced by both the epithelial cells of the endometrium and the trophectoderm of the elongating conceptus. In contrast, IFNT is produced solely by the conceptus trophectoderm and is the maternal recognition of pregnancy signal that inhibits production of luteolytic pulses of PGF2α by the endometrium to maintain the CL and thus production of P4. Available results in sheep support the idea that the individual, interactive, and coordinated actions of P4, PGs, IFNT and cortisol regulate conceptus elongation and implantation by controlling expression of genes in the endometrium and/or trophectoderm. An increased knowledge of conceptus-endometrial interactions during early pregnancy in ruminants is necessary to understand and elucidate the causes of infertility and recurrent early pregnancy loss and provide new strategies to improve fertility and thus reproductive efficiency.01/2014; 5(1):53. DOI:10.1186/2049-1891-5-53
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ABSTRACT: Abstract In vitro fertilization (IVF) cycles generate abnormalities in luteal-phase sex steroid concentrations and this represent an important limiting factor to achieve a good pregnancy rate. Although there are evidences about the usefulness of luteal phase support (LPS) after IVF cycles, no consensus exist about the best dose and way of progesterone (PG) administration, the advantages of estradiol (E2) supplementation and which IVF protocol could benefit from one more than other LPS scheme. Aim of the study was to assess the best LPS (low-dose PG, high-dose PG, high-dose PG and E2 supplementation) to achieve the highest clinical/ongoing pregnancy rate according to stimulation protocol, E2 at ovulation induction, endometrial thickness at pick-up and women's age. We conducted a randomized trial on 360 women undergoing IVF (180 treated by long-GnRH agonist, 90 by short-GnRH agonist and 90 by short-GnRH antagonist protocol) and stimulated by recombinant follicle-stimulating hormone alone. Our data demonstrated that high-dose PG is better than low-dose to increase both clinical and ongoing pregnancy rate. E2 supplementation are mandatory in case of short-GnRH antagonist protocol and strongly suggested in all protocols when E2max <5 nmol/l and endometrial thickness <10 mm. In long-GnRH agonist protocols, as well as in patients >35 years, the real advantages of E2 supplementation remain debatable and require further confirmation.Gynecological Endocrinology 09/2014; DOI:10.3109/09513590.2014.964638 · 1.14 Impact Factor