IVF with androgen priming is an in vitro fertilisation programme, which included testosterone-replacement therapy for women, or androgen priming. Androgen priming is restoring the level of male sex hormones in a woman's body using testosterone pharmaceutical drugs in the form of capsules or gel. The treatment results in growing sensitivity of follicles to the follicle-stimulating hormone, their own and injected one. The follicles mature faster and produce a number of proper eggs sufficient for carrying out in vitro fertilisation.
Androgen priming is a controlled, efficient and safe hormone therapy, which allows to significantly improve the outcomes of ovulation stimulation, ensure optimal operation of ovaries, maturation of follicles and formation of eggs. Androgen priming is a possibility to restore the level of testosterone in a woman's body required for the successful treatment. The technique eliminates the appearance of side effects – the specialists will keep the testosterone level within the normal range.
Indications for IVF with androgen priming
For normal functioning of all systems and organs in the female body, a sufficient amount of hormones – both "female" and "male" – is required. Testosterone – the "main" male hormone – is of great importance for the female reproductive system's functioning. Testosterone is used as the base for the production of estrogens, which are important for the proper maturation of follicles and preparation of the endometrium for embryo implantation.
If testosterone level drops, the amount of estrogens is also reduced. Therefore, hipoandrogen (androgen deficiency) condition slows the maturation of ova and reduces their quality. In this situation, if a woman participates in the VF programme, there is a risk of obtaining fewer eggs than the required 4-5, and also a risk that they will be immature, hence not promising for fertilisation.
Possible symptoms of testosterone deficiency:
decline of vital energy and fatigue;
pain in muscles and joints;
reduction of muscle mass;
formation of fat in the abdominal area;
rare desire to have sex;
difficulty in reaching orgasm and decrease of its intensity.
Decrease of the testosterone level is a physiological process. After 35, its amount reduces significantly, and after 37-38 the deficit of testosterone is not uncommon. In addition to age, the deficiency of vitamin D and thyroid hormones, obesity, and intake of various drugs may lead to a decrease in the level of testosterone. More and more young women are faced with the testosterone deficiency and violation of the reproductive function.
It is worth noting that after 30-35, an active reduction of ovarian reserve occurs in a woman's body; it is also a physiological process. With every passing year each healthy women has fewer and fewer chances for motherhood. If there is a history of pelvic diseases, gynaecological surgeries, regular negative impact of external environment, as well as chronic stress, which is an integral part of life for most women, then ovarian reserve begins to significantly decline much earlier than the "programmed age", thereby reducing the chances of women for healthy conception, including with the help of assisted reproductive technology. If physicians would fail to obtain eggs, IVF may be carried out only with donor cells.
When preparing for IVF, diagnostics of ovarian reserve and testosterone levels is recommended for all women. If the results of the tests and ultrasound examinations show critical reduction in both parameters, physicians may recommend androgen priming. In some cases, this technique allows a woman to achieve pregnancy with her own eggs under the most adverse initial prognosis.
IVF with androgen priming at MAMA Riga Clinic
The international medical community has successfully used androgen priming for the restoration of testosterone levels and treatment of diseases and conditions, caused by a deficiency of this hormone. In human reproduction, androgen priming allows to reliably increase the effectiveness of infertility treatment by using in vitro fertilisation in cases of female infertility.
Our specialists regularly attend international conferences; we present our own developments and treat with particular attention the techniques that appeared relatively recently, but already have earned the trust of our colleagues. Androgen priming is one of such techniques.
MAMA Riga Clinic may recommend androgen priming in the following cases:
reduction of ovarian reserve;
senior reproductive age of a woman;
history of IVF failures due to insufficient quantity and quality of eggs obtained fr om stimulation.
Recommendations to conduct androgen priming are issued exclusively on the basis of the results of the complete gynaecological and endocrinological check-up. Whether this therapy is necessary for you shall be determined by your consultant physician/fertility specialist.
Our experience in applying androgen priming as part of IVF allows to observe a statistically significant increase in the number of pregnancies among women with hipoandrogen condition. This technique allows us to achieve the most important thing – the birth of a child in cases wh ere IVF with a woman's own eggs could hardly lead to the desired results.