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Evaluating the effect of myo-inositol supplementation on ovarian stimulation in women undergoing IVF

In a nutshell

This study investigated if myo-inositol (MI) reduces the amount of gonadotrophins (GTs) needed for ovarian stimulation and the length of treatment in women undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF). The results showed that MI reduced the amount of GTs needed and the duration of fertility treatment in these women. 

Some background

During IVF treatment a woman will undergo a procedure called controlled ovarian hyperstimulation (COH). It involves taking medication that will stimulate the ovaries to produce ovarian follicles. These follicles contain oocytes (eggs) that can be harvested and used for IVF.

Gonadotrophins (GTs) are hormones prescribed to cause COH. The length of GT treatment can vary between patients. Long-term treatment is associated with a dangerous condition called ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome.

Myo-inositol (MI) is a natural compound that helps regulate hormonal and metabolic processes. Some studies suggest that treating patients with MI improves GT treatment. This is thought to be true particularly in women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). If this proves to be the case, MI may lead to reduced GT treatment and shorter protocols.

Methods & findings

This study analyzed data from 8 clinical trials. In these reports, a total of 812 patients underwent various protocols for ovarian stimulation and IVF. These patients had either trouble getting pregnant with no obvious cause or due to PCOS.

All patients that underwent MI treatment required significantly fewer GTs (-493.66 units) to achieve ovarian stimulation. MI treatment reduced the length of GT treatment only in women with PCOS. 

Methods & findings
The bottom line

The authors concluded that myo-inositol reduced the total quantity of gonadotrophins needed in women seeking fertility treatment.

The fine print

This study did not analyze or report any side effects of MI treatment.

The authors analyzed reports from a number of trials, with varying methods, protocols and outcomes. 

What’s next?

Please consult with your doctor if you have any questions regarding fertility treatment procedures.

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Published By: Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics
Date: Nov 11, 2020
Original Title: Myo-inositol supplementation reduces the amount of gonadotropins and length of ovarian stimulation in women undergoing IVF: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.

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