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Application of seminal plasma to female genital tract prior to embryo transfer in assisted reproductive technology cycles (IVF, ICSI and frozen embryo transfer)

Overview of attention for article published in Cochrane database of systematic reviews, February 2018
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Title
Application of seminal plasma to female genital tract prior to embryo transfer in assisted reproductive technology cycles (IVF, ICSI and frozen embryo transfer)
Published in
Cochrane database of systematic reviews, February 2018
DOI 10.1002/14651858.cd011809.pub2
Pubmed ID
Authors

Baris Ata, Ahmed M Abou-Setta, Ayse Seyhan, William Buckett

Abstract

The female genital tract is not exposed to seminal plasma during standard assisted reproductive technology (ART) cycles. However, it is thought that the inflammatory reaction triggered by seminal plasma may be beneficial by inducing maternal tolerance to paternal antigens expressed by the products of conception, and may increase the chance of successful implantation and live birth. To assess the effectiveness and safety of application of seminal plasma to the female genital tract prior to embryo transfer in ART cycles. We searched the following databases from inception to October 2017: Cochrane Gynaecology and Fertility Group Specialised Register of Controlled Trials, Cochrane Central Register of Studies Online (CRSO), MEDLINE, Embase, CINAHL and PsycINFO. We also searched trial registers for ongoing trials, including International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTRP) Search Portal and ClinicalTrials.gov. Other sources searched were; Web of Knowledge, OpenGrey, LILACS, PubMed, Google Scholar and the reference lists of relevant articles. We included randomised controlled trials (RCTs) conducted among women undergoing ART, comparing any procedure that would expose the female genital tract to seminal plasma during the period starting five days before embryo transfer and ending two days after it versus no seminal plasma application. Two review authors independently selected trials, assessed risk of bias, and extracted data. We pooled data to calculate relative risks (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs). We assessed statistical heterogeneity using the I2statistic. We assessed the overall quality of the evidence for the main outcomes using GRADE methods. Our primary outcomes were live birth rate and miscarriage rate. Secondary outcomes were live birth/ongoing pregnancy rate, clinical pregnancy rate, multiple pregnancy rate, ectopic pregnancy rate and the incidence of other adverse events. We included 11 RCTs (3215 women). The quality of the evidence ranged from very low to low. The main limitations were risk of bias (associated with poor reporting of allocation concealment and other methods) and imprecision for the primary outcome of live birth rate.Live birth rates: There was insufficient evidence to determine whether there was a difference between the groups with respect to live birth rates (RR 1.10, 95% CI 0.86 to 1.43; participants = 948; studies = 3; I2= 0%). Low quality evidence suggests that if the live birth rate following standard ART is 19% it will be between 16% and 27% with seminal plasma application.Miscarriage rate: There was insufficient evidence to determine whether there was a difference between the groups (RR 1.01, 95% CI 0.57 to 1.79; participants = 1209; studies = 4; I2= 0%). Low quality evidence suggests that if the miscarriage rate following standard ART is 3.7%, the miscarriage rate following seminal plasma application will be between 2.1% and 6.6%.Live birth or ongoing pregnancy rates: Seminal plasma application makes little or no difference in live birth or ongoing pregnancy rates (RR 1.19, 95% CI 0.95 to 1.49; participants = 1178; studies = 4; I2= 4%, low quality evidence). The evidence suggests that if the live birth or ongoing pregnancy rate following standard ART is 19.5% it will be between 18.5% and 29% with seminal plasma application.Clinical pregnancy rates: Seminal plasma application may increase clinical pregnancy rates (RR 1.15, 95% CI 1.01 to 1.31; participants = 2768; studies = 10; I2= 0%). Very low quality evidence suggests that if the clinical pregnancy rate following standard ART is 22.0% it will be between 22.2% and 28.8% with seminal plasma application. This finding should be regarded with caution, as a post-hoc sensitivity analysis restricted to studies at overall low risk of bias did not find a significant difference between the groups (RR 1.06, 95% CI 0.81 to 1.39; participants = 547; studies = 3; I2= 0%).Multiple pregnancy rate: Seminal plasma application may make little or no difference to multiple pregnancy rates (RR 1.11, 95% CI 0.76 to 1.64; participants = 1642; studies = 5; I2= 9%). Low quality evidence suggests that if the multiple pregnancy rate following standard ART is 7%, the multiple pregnancy rate following seminal plasma application will be between 5% and 11.4%.Ectopic pregnancy: There was insufficient evidence to determine whether seminal plasma application influences the risk of ectopic pregnancy (RR 1.59, 95% CI 0.20 to 12.78, participants =1521; studies = 5; I2= 0%) .Infectious complications or other adverse events: No data were available on these outcomes AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: In women undergoing ART, there was insufficient evidence to determine whether there was a difference between the seminal plasma and the standard ART group in rates of live birth (low-quality evidence) or miscarriage (low quality evidence). There was low quality evidence suggesting little or no difference between the groups in rates of live birth or ongoing pregnancy (composite outcome). We found low quality evidence that seminal plasma application may be associated with more clinical pregnancies than standard ART. There was low quality evidence suggesting little or no difference between the groups in rates of multiple pregnancy. There was insufficient evidence to reach any conclusions about the risk of ectopic pregnancy, and no data were available on infectious complications or other adverse events.We conclude that seminal plasma application is worth further investigation, focusing on live birth and miscarriage rates.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 2 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 67 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 67 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Ph. D. Student 14 21%
Student > Master 13 19%
Researcher 8 12%
Student > Bachelor 7 10%
Student > Postgraduate 6 9%
Other 12 18%
Unknown 7 10%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 24 36%
Nursing and Health Professions 10 15%
Social Sciences 4 6%
Arts and Humanities 3 4%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 3 4%
Other 10 15%
Unknown 13 19%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 1. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 01 March 2018.
All research outputs
#9,657,260
of 12,582,044 outputs
Outputs from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
#9,253
of 10,369 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#187,073
of 272,013 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
#186
of 212 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 12,582,044 research outputs across all sources so far. This one is in the 20th percentile – i.e., 20% of other outputs scored the same or lower than it.
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