Female fertility: Whats testosterone got to do with it?
Female fertility: Whats testosterone got to do with it? Full Text
New study shows male hormones play an important role; may enhance IVF therapy. Several fertility clinics across the country are beginning to administer testosterone, either through a patch or a gel on the skin, to increase the number of eggs produced by certain women undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF). Women are also purchasing the over–the–counter supplement DHEA, which is converted by the body into testosterone, to boost their chances of pregnancy with IVF. A few clinical trials support the use of testosterone given through the skin, while others have shown no benefit of DHEA – also used in attempts to slow aging and enhance muscle mass – in increasing pregnancy and birth rates in women who don’t respond well to IVF therapy. Lacking a large and convincing body of data on the topic, the jury is still out as to whether male hormones such as testosterone improve female fertility. A new study suggests that male hormones, also called androgens, help drive the development of follicles – structures that contain and ultimately release an egg that can be fertilized by a man’s sperm. Published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the research also details how male hormones boost the production of follicles in mice.