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Androgens (dehydroepiandrosterone or testosterone) for women undergoing assisted reproduction

Overview of attention for article published in Cochrane database of systematic reviews, November 2015
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  • Good Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (74th percentile)

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Title
Androgens (dehydroepiandrosterone or testosterone) for women undergoing assisted reproduction
Published in
Cochrane database of systematic reviews, November 2015
DOI 10.1002/14651858.cd009749.pub2
Pubmed ID
Authors

Helen E Nagels, Josephine R Rishworth, Charalampos S Siristatidis, Ben Kroon

Abstract

Infertility is a condition affecting 10% to 15% of couples of reproductive age. It is generally defined as "the failure to achieve a clinical pregnancy after 12 months or more of regular unprotected sexual intercourse". The treatment of infertility may involve manipulation of gametes or of the embryos themselves. These techniques are together known as assisted reproductive technology (ART). Practitioners are constantly seeking alternative or adjunct treatments, or both, in the hope that they may improve the outcome of assisted reproductive techniques. This Cochrane review focusses on the adjunct use of synthetic versions of two naturally-produced hormones, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and testosterone (T), in assisted reproduction.DHEA and its derivative testosterone are steroid hormones proposed to increase conception rates by positively affecting follicular response to gonadotrophin stimulation, leading to greater oocyte yields and, in turn, increased chance of pregnancy. To assess the effectiveness and safety of DHEA and testosterone as pre- or co-treatments in subfertile women undergoing assisted reproduction. We searched the following electronic databases, trial registers and websites up to 12 March 2015: the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), the Menstrual Disorders and Subfertility Group (MDSG) Specialised Register, MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycINFO, CINAHL, electronic trial registers for ongoing and registered trials, citation indexes, conference abstracts in the Web of Science, PubMed and OpenSIGLE. We also carried out handsearches. There were no language restrictions. We included randomised controlled trials (RCTs) comparing DHEA or testosterone as an adjunct treatment to any other active intervention, placebo, or no treatment in women undergoing assisted reproduction. Two review authors independently selected studies, extracted relevant data and assessed them for risk of bias. We pooled studies using fixed-effect models. We calculated odds ratios (ORs) for each dichotomous outcome. Analyses were stratified by type of treatment. There were no data for the intended groupings by dose, mode of delivery or after one/more than one cycle.We assessed the overall quality of the evidence for the main findings using the GRADE working group methods. We included 17 RCTs with a total of 1496 participants. Apart from two trials, the trial participants were women identified as 'poor responders' to standard IVF protocols. The included trials compared either testosterone or DHEA treatment with placebo or no treatment.When DHEA was compared with placebo or no treatment, pre-treatment with DHEA was associated with higher rates of live birth or ongoing pregnancy (OR 1.88, 95% CI 1.30 to 2.71; eight RCTs, N = 878, I² statistic = 27%, moderate quality evidence). This suggests that in women with a 12% chance of live birth/ongoing pregnancy with placebo or no treatment, the live birth/ongoing pregnancy rate in women using DHEA will be between 15% and 26%. However, in a sensitivity analysis removing trials at high risk of performance bias, the effect size was reduced and no longer reached significance (OR 1.50, 95% CI 0.88 to 2.56; five RCTs, N = 306, I² statistic = 43%). There was no evidence of a difference in miscarriage rates (OR 0.58, 95% CI 0.29 to 1.17; eight RCTs, N = 950, I² statistic = 0%, moderate quality evidence). Multiple pregnancy data were available for five trials, with one multiple pregnancy in the DHEA group of one trial (OR 3.23, 95% CI 0.13 to 81.01; five RCTs, N = 267, very low quality evidence).When testosterone was compared with placebo or no treatment we found that pre-treatment with testosterone was associated with higher live birth rates (OR 2.60, 95% CI 1.30 to 5.20; four RCTs, N = 345, I² statistic = 0%, moderate evidence). This suggests that in women with an 8% chance of live birth with placebo or no treatment, the live birth rate in women using testosterone will be between 10% and 32%. On removal of studies at high risk of performance bias in a sensitivity analysis, the remaining study showed no evidence of a difference between the groups (OR 2.00, 95% CI 0.17 to 23.49; one RCT, N = 53). There was no evidence of a difference in miscarriage rates (OR 2.04, 95% CI 0.58 to 7.13; four RCTs, N = 345, I² = 0%, low quality evidence). Multiple pregnancy data were available for three trials, with four events in the testosterone group and one in the placebo/no treatment group (OR 3.09, 95% CI 0.48 to 19.98; three RCTs, N = 292, very low quality evidence).One study compared testosterone with estradiol and reported no evidence of a difference in live birth rates (OR 2.06, 95% CI 0.43 to 9.87; one RCT, N = 46, very low quality evidence) or miscarriage rates (OR 0.70, 95% CI 0.11 to 4.64; one RCT, N = 46, very low quality evidence).The quality of the evidence was moderate, the main limitations being lack of blinding in the included trials, inadequate reporting of study methods, and low event and sample sizes in some trials. In women identified as poor responders undergoing ART, pre-treatment with DHEA or testosterone may be associated with improved live birth rates. The overall quality of the evidence is moderate. There is insufficient evidence to draw any conclusions about the safety of either androgen. Definitive conclusions regarding the clinical role of either androgen awaits evidence from further well-designed studies.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 8 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 147 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 147 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 26 18%
Student > Ph. D. Student 23 16%
Researcher 21 14%
Student > Bachelor 14 10%
Student > Postgraduate 13 9%
Other 35 24%
Unknown 15 10%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 63 43%
Nursing and Health Professions 14 10%
Psychology 9 6%
Social Sciences 7 5%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 5 3%
Other 24 16%
Unknown 25 17%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 4. 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 30 January 2016.
All research outputs
#3,281,827
of 12,527,219 outputs
Outputs from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
#5,881
of 8,923 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#87,451
of 345,359 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
#157
of 212 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 12,527,219 research outputs across all sources so far. This one has received more attention than most of these and is in the 73rd percentile.
So far Altmetric has tracked 8,923 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 21.2. This one is in the 42nd percentile – i.e., 42% of its peers scored the same or lower than it.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 345,359 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 74% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 212 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one is in the 25th percentile – i.e., 25% of its contemporaries scored the same or lower than it.