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Combined letrozole and clomiphene versus letrozole and clomiphene alone in infertile patients with polycystic ovary syndrome

Authors Hajishafiha M, Dehghan M, Kiarang N, Sadegh-Asadi N, Shayegh SN, Ghasemi-Rad M

Received 3 July 2013

Accepted for publication 24 September 2013

Published 3 December 2013 Volume 2013:7 Pages 1427—1431

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/DDDT.S50972

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3


Masomeh Hajishafiha,1 Meisam Dehghan,2 Nazila Kiarang,1 Nahideh Sadegh-Asadi,1 Seyed Navid Shayegh,3 Mohammad Ghasemi-Rad2

1Department of Gynecology, Reproductive Health Research Center, Urmia University of Medical Sciences, 2Urmia University of Medical Sciences, 3Gulf Medical University, Ajman, United Arab Emirates

Background: Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common endocrine disorder in women of childbearing age (6.8%–18%), is among the most common causes of infertility due to ovulation factors, and accounts for 55%–70% of infertility cases caused by chronic anovulation. In this study, we used a combination of letrozole and clomiphene in patients resistant to both drugs individually, and studied the effects of this combination in ovulation and pregnancy in resistant PCOS patients.
Methods: The study population included infertile couples diagnosed as PCOS in the wife. The women used clomiphene for at least six cycles in order to ovulate after failure to form the dominant follicle, and were then put on letrozole for four cycles. Patients who were unable to form the dominant follicle were enrolled on letrozole and clomiphene combination therapy.
Results: One hundred enrolled patients underwent 257 cycles of a combination of letrozole and clomiphene, in which 213 were able to form the dominant follicle (82.9%) and 44 were unable to do so (17.1%). The number of mature follicles was 2.3±1.1. The mean endometrial thickness in patients on the day of human chorionic gonadotropin administration was 8.17±1.3 mm. The pregnancy rate was 42%.
Conclusion: According to the results of this study, it can be proposed that in PCOS patients resistant to clomiphene and letrozole used as single agents, a combination of the two drugs can be administered before using more aggressive treatment that may have severe complications or surgery. This combination may also be used as a first-line therapy to induce ovulation in severe cases of PCOS in order to save time and expense.

Keywords: letrozole, clomiphene, combination therapy, infertility, polycystic ovary syndrome

Erratum for this paper has been published.

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