Prednisolone Improves IVF Outcomes in Men With Anti-sperm Antibodies

2016-10-18 02:08:21 | BioPortfolio


Corticosteroids have been indicated to treat men with ASAs. Although many studies have confirmed the clinical therapeutic significance of corticosteroids in the treatment of men with ASAs, other studies have not found a therapeutic significance for corticosteroids in the treatment of men with ASAs. Moreover, although some reports have shown high fertilization and conception rates in couples when husbands did not have ASAs, other reports have shown that ASAs do not have a negative effect on fertilization and conception rates. These contradictory results have left the therapeutic effect of corticosteroids in men with ASA in continuing controversy. This controversy is also extended to include the usefulness of assisted reproductive technology (ART) in the treatment of patients with ASAs. In this regard, although some studies have shown that the pregnancy rate following in vitro fertilization (IVF) or intracellular sperm injection (ICSI) were similar in men with or without ASA or did not associate with ASA, others reported the superiority of ICSI over IVF and intrauterine insemination over natural intercourse in men with ASAs. It is possible that some patients with ASAs also have an additional problem(s) related to sperm binding to the oolemma and fusion into the ovum as well as sperm head decondensation. The latter condition may negatively influence or mask the clinical significance of corticosteroids on pregnancy rates in patients with ASAs. Some patients might not have benefited from corticosteroids and conventional IVF treatments due to the impaired sperm fusogenic capacity in addition to ASAs. Human sperm penetration assay (SPA), of the hamster oocyte free from zona pellucida, is a sensitive tool that can address such potential impairment of sperm binding with the oolemma and fusion into the oocyte as well as sperm head decondensation. Males with poor SPA results benefit from ICSI whereas those with good SPA results can still benefit from conventional IVF.

The present study was therefore conducted to address the therapeutic usefulness of a corticosteroid named prednisolone in the treatment of immunologically infertile men undergoing IVF or ICSI determined by SPA.


This prospective study was conducted at the Barz IVF Center for Infertility Treatment and Embryo Research, Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq and the Baghdad University Teaching Hospital of the College of Medicine, University of Baghdad, Baghdad, Iraq between October 2014 and May 2016. In all cases, the wife`s ova were inseminated with the husband`s semen samples. Identified men with positive ASAs were randomly assigned for treatment with or without prednisolone for three cycles. Infertile men were treated with prednisolone tablet, po, for 21 days of their wife's menstrual cycles. Briefly, the prednisolone regimen was started with a dose of 5mg, tid, for two weeks followed by 5mg bid for five days. This was further tapered to one tablet of 5mg/day for two days. Patients were then given one week of rest from the treatment, before this prednisolone regimen was repeated for another two cycles

Treated men that recovered from ASAs and control patients underwent SPA. Patients with positive or negative SPA results were then admitted to conventional IVF or ICSI cycles, respectively. Initial number of recruited couples with positive ASAs was 241. However, data from only 197 couples were included in this study. Data from the other 44 couples were omitted, because patients did not comply with the prednisolone regime or were poor responders to hyperstimulation. Only the first embryo transfer cycle following IVF or ICSI was included in this analysis.

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Open Label, Primary Purpose: Treatment


Reproductive Sterility


Prednisolone treatment




Barz IVF Center for Infertility Treatment and Embryo Research

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2016-10-18T02:08:21-0400

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