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JOURNAL ARTICLE

Androgen supplementation in assisted reproduction: where are we in 2019?

Pedro Montoya-Botero, Jorge Rodriguez-Purata, Nikolaos P Polyzos
Current Opinion in Obstetrics & Gynecology 2019, 31 (3): 188-194
30855291

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The purpose of this review is to provide an overview of androgen supplementation in ART with the most updated evidence, from animal studies to its clinical applications in poor ovarian responders (POR) and the future studies to be published.

RECENT FINDINGS: Animal studies, has shown that testosterone supplementation, can be an option to increase the recruitable follicular pool in POR. However, the potential mechanism of action, dose, and duration of treatment is still under investigation. Early studies in humans reported promising results in favor of androgens [dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) or testosterone] in POR. Nevertheless, recent evidence does not appear to follow the initial results, whereas the type, dose, and duration of testosterone administration appear to be crucial for treatment effect.

SUMMARY: Testosterone seems to play an essential role in regulating ovarian function. However, it is worrisome that androgens are used off-label, despite that the available evidence is weak. Although testosterone supplementation may be beneficial in POR, published studies have used inconsistent doses and duration of administration. An ongoing trial (T-TRANSPORT trial) for the first time aims to provide conclusive evidence on whether transdermal testosterone administration can improve the reproductive outcomes in patients undergoing IVF/ICSI.

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