Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Letrozole may help women with polycystic ovary syndrome become pregnant

Date:
July 9, 2014
Source:
Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
Summary:
The drug letrozole results in higher birth rates in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) than the current preferred infertility treatment drug, according to a nationwide American study. PCOS affects 5 to 10 percent of reproductive-age women and is the most common cause of female infertility. Women affected have excessive levels of the hormone androgen, have infrequent periods, develop small cysts on the ovaries and have trouble conceiving.

The drug letrozole results in higher birth rates in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) than the current preferred infertility treatment drug, according to a nationwide study led by Penn State College of Medicine researchers.

Related Articles


PCOS affects 5 to 10 percent of reproductive-age women and is the most common cause of female infertility. Women affected have excessive levels of the hormone androgen, have infrequent periods, develop small cysts on the ovaries and have trouble conceiving.

Clomiphene citrate -- a drug that stimulates ovulation -- has been the standard treatment for decades.

"Clomiphene has its drawbacks," said Dr. Richard Legro, professor of obstetrics and gynecology and lead author on the study. "It's only 22 percent successful with up to six cycles of treatment in producing a successful birth, it has a high multiple-pregnancy rate in comparison to unassisted conception, and it has side effects including hot flashes and mood changes."

Letrozole is a class of drug that blocks estrogen production.

To compare the two drugs, researchers studied 750 infertile women with PCOS between 18 and 40 years old who wanted to conceive. Women were randomly assigned to either clomiphene or letrozole and took the medications for up to five cycles, with increasing dosage each cycle. Results are reported in the current issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

The group of women who received letrozole had a higher rate of live births -- 27.5 percent -- than those on clomiphene -- 19.1 percent. In addition, ovulation rates were significantly higher with letrozole than with clomiphene at each monthly visit.

Fewer twin pregnancies occurred in the women who took letrozole -- 3.9 percent on letrozole and 6.9 percent on clomiphene. Clomiphene was associated with a significantly higher incidence of hot flashes; letrozole with significantly higher incidence of fatigue and dizziness. Birth defects were rare and rates were similar between the two medications, comparable to those from studies of women who conceive without treatment.

Further research is needed with a larger number of infants to clarify the safety of letrozole.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. The original article was written by Matthew Solovey. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Richard S. Legro, Robert G. Brzyski, Michael P. Diamond, Christos Coutifaris, William D. Schlaff, Peter Casson, Gregory M. Christman, Hao Huang, Qingshang Yan, Ruben Alvero, Daniel J. Haisenleder, Kurt T. Barnhart, G. Wright Bates, Rebecca Usadi, Scott Lucidi, Valerie Baker, J.C. Trussell, Stephen A. Krawetz, Peter Snyder, Dana Ohl, Nanette Santoro, Esther Eisenberg, Heping Zhang. Letrozole versus Clomiphene for Infertility in the Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. New England Journal of Medicine, 2014; 371 (2): 119 DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1313517

Cite This Page:

Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. "Letrozole may help women with polycystic ovary syndrome become pregnant." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 July 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140709182159.htm>.
Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. (2014, July 9). Letrozole may help women with polycystic ovary syndrome become pregnant. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 1, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140709182159.htm
Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. "Letrozole may help women with polycystic ovary syndrome become pregnant." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140709182159.htm (accessed February 1, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Hikers Rescued After Fall from Oregon Mountain

Hikers Rescued After Fall from Oregon Mountain

AP (Feb. 1, 2015) Two climbers who were hurt in a fall on Mount Hood are now being treated for their injuries. Rescue officials say they were airlifted off the mountain Saturday afternoon by an Oregon National Guard helicopter. (Feb. 2) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smart Glasses Augment Reality to Help Visually Impaired

Smart Glasses Augment Reality to Help Visually Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Feb. 1, 2015) New augmented reality smart glasses developed by researchers at Oxford University can help people with visual impairments improve their vision by providing depth-based feedback, allowing users to "see" better. Joel Flynn reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Flu Season Hitting Elderly Hard

Flu Season Hitting Elderly Hard

Reuters - US Online Video (Jan. 31, 2015) The CDC says this year&apos;s flu season is hitting people 65 years of age and older especially hard. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC: Get Vaccinated for Measles

CDC: Get Vaccinated for Measles

Reuters - US Online Video (Jan. 30, 2015) The CDC is urging people to get vaccinated for measles amid an outbreak that began at Disneyland and has now infected more than 90 people. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins