Metformin treatment before and during IVF or ICSI in women with polycystic ovary syndrome.Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2020 12 21; 12:CD006105.CD
The use of insulin-sensitising agents, such as metformin, in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) who are undergoing ovulation induction or in vitro fertilisation (IVF) cycles has been widely studied. Metformin reduces hyperinsulinaemia and suppresses the excessive ovarian production of androgens. It is suggested that as a consequence metformin could improve assisted reproductive techniques (ART) outcomes, such as ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS), pregnancy, and live birth rates.
To determine the effectiveness and safety of metformin as a co-treatment during IVF or intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) in achieving pregnancy or live birth in women with PCOS.
We searched the Cochrane Gynaecology and Fertility Group Specialised Register, CENTRAL via the Cochrane Register of Studies Online (CRSO), MEDLINE, Embase, PsycINFO, LILACS, the trial registries for ongoing trials, and reference lists of articles (from inception to 13 February 2020).
Types of studies: randomised controlled trials (RCTs) comparing metformin treatment with placebo or no treatment in women with PCOS who underwent IVF or ICSI treatment.
TYPES OF PARTICIPANTS
women of reproductive age with anovulation due to PCOS with or without co-existing infertility factors. Types of interventions: metformin administered before and during IVF or ICSI treatment.
PRIMARY OUTCOME MEASURES
live birth rate, incidence of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome.
DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS
Two review authors independently selected the studies, extracted the data according to the protocol, and assessed study quality. We assessed the overall quality of the evidence using the GRADE approach.
This updated review includes 13 RCTs involving a total of 1132 women with PCOS undergoing IVF/ICSI treatments. We stratified the analysis by type of ovarian stimulation protocol used (long gonadotrophin-releasing hormone agonist (GnRH-agonist) or short gonadotrophin-releasing hormone antagonist (GnRH-antagonist)) to determine whether the type of stimulation used influenced the outcomes. We did not perform meta-analysis on the overall (both ovarian stimulation protocols combined) data for the outcomes of live birth and clinical pregnancy rates per woman because of substantial heterogeneity. In the long protocol GnRH-agonist subgroup, the pooled evidence showed that we are uncertain of the effect of metformin on live birth rate per woman when compared with placebo/no treatment (risk ratio (RR) 1.30, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.94 to 1.79; 6 RCTs; 651 women; I2 = 47%; low-quality evidence). This suggests that if the chance for live birth following placebo/no treatment is 28%, the chance following metformin would be between 27% and 51%. Only one study used short protocol GnRH-antagonist and reported live birth rate. Metformin may reduce live birth rate compared with placebo/no treatment (RR 0.48, 95% CI 0.29 to 0.79; 1 RCT; 153 women; low-quality evidence). This suggests that if the chance for live birth following placebo/no treatment is 43%, the chance following metformin would be between 13% and 34% (short GnRH-antagonist protocol). We found that metformin may reduce the incidence of OHSS (RR 0.46, 95% CI 0.29 to 0.72; 11 RCTs; 1091 women; I2 = 38%; low-quality evidence). This suggests that for a woman with a 20% risk of OHSS without metformin, the corresponding risk using metformin would be between 6% and 14%. Using long protocol GnRH-agonist stimulation, metformin may increase clinical pregnancy rate per woman compared with placebo/no treatment (RR 1.32, 95% CI 1.08 to 1.63; 10 RCTs; 915 women; I2 = 13%; low-quality evidence). Using short protocol GnRH-antagonist, we are uncertain of the effect of metformin on clinical pregnancy rate per woman compared with placebo/no treatment (RR 1.38, 95% CI 0.21 to 9.14; 2 RCTs; 177 women; I2 = 87%; very low-quality evidence). We are uncertain of the effect of metformin on miscarriage rate per woman when compared with placebo/no treatment (RR 0.86, 95% CI 0.56 to 1.32; 8 RCTs; 821 women; I2 = 0%; low-quality evidence). Metformin may result in an increase in side effects compared with placebo/no treatment (RR 3.35, 95% CI 2.34 to 4.79; 8 RCTs; 748 women; I2 = 0%; low-quality evidence). The overall quality of evidence ranged from very low to low. The main limitations were inconsistency, risk of bias, and imprecision.