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Assisted reproductive technologies for male subfertility.
Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2016 Feb 26; 2:CD000360.CD

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Intra-uterine insemination (IUI), in vitro fertilisation (IVF) and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) are frequently used fertility treatments for couples with male subfertility. The use of these treatments has been subject of discussion. Knowledge on the effectiveness of fertility treatments for male subfertility with different grades of severity is limited. Possibly, couples are exposed to unnecessary or ineffective treatments on a large scale.

OBJECTIVES

To evaluate the effectiveness and safety of different fertility treatments (expectant management, timed intercourse (TI), IUI, IVF and ICSI) for couples whose subfertility appears to be due to abnormal sperm parameters.

SEARCH METHODS

We searched for all publications that described randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of the treatment for male subfertility. We searched the Cochrane Menstrual Disorders and Subfertility Group Specialised Register, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, PsycINFO and the National Research Register from inception to 14 April 2015, and web-based trial registers from January 1985 to April 2015. We applied no language restrictions. We checked all references in the identified trials and background papers and contacted authors to identify relevant published and unpublished data.

SELECTION CRITERIA

We included RCTs comparing different treatment options for male subfertility. These were expectant management, TI (with or without ovarian hyperstimulation (OH)), IUI (with or without OH), IVF and ICSI. We included only couples with abnormal sperm parameters.

DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS

Two review authors independently selected the studies, extracted data and assessed risk of bias. They resolved disagreements by discussion with the rest of the review authors. We performed statistical analyses in accordance with the guidelines for statistical analysis developed by The Cochrane Collaboration. The quality of the evidence was rated using the GRADE methods. Primary outcomes were live birth and ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) per couple randomised.

MAIN RESULTS

The review included 10 RCTs (757 couples). The quality of the evidence was low or very low for all comparisons. The main limitations in the evidence were failure to describe study methods, serious imprecision and inconsistency. IUI versus TI (five RCTs)Two RCTs compared IUI with TI in natural cycles. There were no data on live birth or OHSS. We found no evidence of a difference in pregnancy rates (2 RCTs, 62 couples: odds ratio (OR) 4.57, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.21 to 102, very low quality evidence; there were no events in one of the studies).Three RCTs compared IUI with TI both in cycles with OH. We found no evidence of a difference in live birth rates (1 RCT, 81 couples: OR 0.89, 95% CI 0.30 to 2.59; low quality evidence) or pregnancy rates (3 RCTs, 202 couples: OR 1.51, 95% CI 0.74 to 3.07; I(2) = 11%, very low quality evidence). One RCT reported data on OHSS. None of the 62 women had OHSS.One RCT compared IUI in cycles with OH with TI in natural cycles. We found no evidence of a difference in live birth rates (1 RCT, 44 couples: OR 3.14, 95% CI 0.12 to 81.35; very low quality evidence). Data on OHSS were not available. IUI in cycles with OH versus IUI in natural cycles (five RCTs)We found no evidence of a difference in live birth rates (3 RCTs, 346 couples: OR 1.34, 95% CI 0.77 to 2.33; I(2) = 0%, very low quality evidence) and pregnancy rates (4 RCTs, 399 couples: OR 1.68, 95% CI 1.00 to 2.82; I(2) = 0%, very low quality evidence). There were no data on OHSS. IVF versus IUI in natural cycles or cycles with OH (two RCTs)We found no evidence of a difference in live birth rates between IVF versus IUI in natural cycles (1 RCT, 53 couples: OR 0.77, 95% CI 0.25 to 2.35; low quality evidence) or IVF versus IUI in cycles with OH (2 RCTs, 86 couples: OR 1.03, 95% CI 0.43 to 2.45; I(2) = 0%, very low quality evidence). One RCT reported data on OHSS. None of the women had OHSS.Overall, we found no evidence of a difference between any of the groups in rates of live birth, pregnancy or adverse events (multiple pregnancy, miscarriage). However, most of the evidence was very low quality.There were no studies on IUI in natural cycles versus TI in stimulated cycles, IVF versus TI, ICSI versus TI, ICSI versus IUI (with OH) or ICSI versus IVF.

AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS

We found insufficient evidence to determine whether there was any difference in safety and effectiveness between different treatments for male subfertility. More research is needed.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Jeroen Bosch Hospital, Henri Dunantstraat 1, PO Box 90153, 's-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands, 5200 ME.No affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Meta-Analysis
Review
Systematic Review

Language

eng

PubMed ID

26915339

Citation

Cissen, Maartje, et al. "Assisted Reproductive Technologies for Male Subfertility." The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, vol. 2, 2016, p. CD000360.
Cissen M, Bensdorp A, Cohlen BJ, et al. Assisted reproductive technologies for male subfertility. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2016;2:CD000360.
Cissen, M., Bensdorp, A., Cohlen, B. J., Repping, S., de Bruin, J. P., & van Wely, M. (2016). Assisted reproductive technologies for male subfertility. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2, CD000360. https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD000360.pub5
Cissen M, et al. Assisted Reproductive Technologies for Male Subfertility. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2016 Feb 26;2:CD000360. PubMed PMID: 26915339.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Assisted reproductive technologies for male subfertility. AU - Cissen,Maartje, AU - Bensdorp,Alexandra, AU - Cohlen,Ben J, AU - Repping,Sjoerd, AU - de Bruin,Jan Peter, AU - van Wely,Madelon, Y1 - 2016/02/26/ PY - 2016/2/27/entrez PY - 2016/2/27/pubmed PY - 2016/6/21/medline SP - CD000360 EP - CD000360 JF - The Cochrane database of systematic reviews JO - Cochrane Database Syst Rev VL - 2 N2 - BACKGROUND: Intra-uterine insemination (IUI), in vitro fertilisation (IVF) and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) are frequently used fertility treatments for couples with male subfertility. The use of these treatments has been subject of discussion. Knowledge on the effectiveness of fertility treatments for male subfertility with different grades of severity is limited. Possibly, couples are exposed to unnecessary or ineffective treatments on a large scale. OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the effectiveness and safety of different fertility treatments (expectant management, timed intercourse (TI), IUI, IVF and ICSI) for couples whose subfertility appears to be due to abnormal sperm parameters. SEARCH METHODS: We searched for all publications that described randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of the treatment for male subfertility. We searched the Cochrane Menstrual Disorders and Subfertility Group Specialised Register, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, PsycINFO and the National Research Register from inception to 14 April 2015, and web-based trial registers from January 1985 to April 2015. We applied no language restrictions. We checked all references in the identified trials and background papers and contacted authors to identify relevant published and unpublished data. SELECTION CRITERIA: We included RCTs comparing different treatment options for male subfertility. These were expectant management, TI (with or without ovarian hyperstimulation (OH)), IUI (with or without OH), IVF and ICSI. We included only couples with abnormal sperm parameters. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Two review authors independently selected the studies, extracted data and assessed risk of bias. They resolved disagreements by discussion with the rest of the review authors. We performed statistical analyses in accordance with the guidelines for statistical analysis developed by The Cochrane Collaboration. The quality of the evidence was rated using the GRADE methods. Primary outcomes were live birth and ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) per couple randomised. MAIN RESULTS: The review included 10 RCTs (757 couples). The quality of the evidence was low or very low for all comparisons. The main limitations in the evidence were failure to describe study methods, serious imprecision and inconsistency. IUI versus TI (five RCTs)Two RCTs compared IUI with TI in natural cycles. There were no data on live birth or OHSS. We found no evidence of a difference in pregnancy rates (2 RCTs, 62 couples: odds ratio (OR) 4.57, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.21 to 102, very low quality evidence; there were no events in one of the studies).Three RCTs compared IUI with TI both in cycles with OH. We found no evidence of a difference in live birth rates (1 RCT, 81 couples: OR 0.89, 95% CI 0.30 to 2.59; low quality evidence) or pregnancy rates (3 RCTs, 202 couples: OR 1.51, 95% CI 0.74 to 3.07; I(2) = 11%, very low quality evidence). One RCT reported data on OHSS. None of the 62 women had OHSS.One RCT compared IUI in cycles with OH with TI in natural cycles. We found no evidence of a difference in live birth rates (1 RCT, 44 couples: OR 3.14, 95% CI 0.12 to 81.35; very low quality evidence). Data on OHSS were not available. IUI in cycles with OH versus IUI in natural cycles (five RCTs)We found no evidence of a difference in live birth rates (3 RCTs, 346 couples: OR 1.34, 95% CI 0.77 to 2.33; I(2) = 0%, very low quality evidence) and pregnancy rates (4 RCTs, 399 couples: OR 1.68, 95% CI 1.00 to 2.82; I(2) = 0%, very low quality evidence). There were no data on OHSS. IVF versus IUI in natural cycles or cycles with OH (two RCTs)We found no evidence of a difference in live birth rates between IVF versus IUI in natural cycles (1 RCT, 53 couples: OR 0.77, 95% CI 0.25 to 2.35; low quality evidence) or IVF versus IUI in cycles with OH (2 RCTs, 86 couples: OR 1.03, 95% CI 0.43 to 2.45; I(2) = 0%, very low quality evidence). One RCT reported data on OHSS. None of the women had OHSS.Overall, we found no evidence of a difference between any of the groups in rates of live birth, pregnancy or adverse events (multiple pregnancy, miscarriage). However, most of the evidence was very low quality.There were no studies on IUI in natural cycles versus TI in stimulated cycles, IVF versus TI, ICSI versus TI, ICSI versus IUI (with OH) or ICSI versus IVF. AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: We found insufficient evidence to determine whether there was any difference in safety and effectiveness between different treatments for male subfertility. More research is needed. SN - 1469-493X UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/26915339/Assisted_reproductive_technologies_for_male_subfertility_ L2 - https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD000360.pub5 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -