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Infertility and cortisol: a systematic review

Karunyam, Bheena Vyshali and Abdul Karim, Abdul Kadir and Mohamed, Isa Naina and Ugusman, Azizah and Mohamed, Wael Mohamed Yousef and Mohd Faizal, Ahmad and Abu, Muhammad Azrai and Kumar, Jaya (2023) Infertility and cortisol: a systematic review. Frontiers in Endocrinology, 14. pp. 1-19. E-ISSN 1664-2392

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Introduction: Stress and infertility form a complex relationship. In line with this, various stress-related biological markers have been investigated in infertility. Methods: This systematic review was performed using PRISMA guidelines (i) to report whether cortisol is highly present in infertile patients compared to fertile control; (ii) to report whether there is any significant difference in the cortisol level in infertile subjects that conceive and those that didn’t at the end of assisted reproduction treatments. Original articles involving human (male and female) as subjects were extracted from four electronic databases, including the list of references from the published papers. Sixteen original full-length articles involving male (4), female (11), and both genders (1) were included. Results: Findings from studies that compared the cortisol level between infertile and fertile subjects indicate that (i) Male: three studies reported elevated cortisol level in infertile patients and one found no significant difference; (ii) Female: four studies reported increased cortisol level in infertile subjects and three studies found no significant difference. Findings from studies that measured the cortisol level from infertile patients that conceived and those that didn’t indicate that (i) Male: one study reported no significant difference; (ii) Female: one study reported elevated cortisol in infertile patients that conceived, whereas two studies reported increased cortisol in infertile patients that was unable to conceive. Five studies found no significant difference between the groups. Discussion: In the present review we only included the cortisol value that was measured prior to stimulation or IVF treatment or during natural or spontaneous cycles, despite this, there are still variations in the sampling period, assessment techniques and patients’ characteristics. Hence, at present, we are still unable to conclude that cortisol is significantly elevated in infertile patients. We warrant future studies to standardize the time of biological sample collection and other limitations that were addressed in the review to negate the unwanted influencing factors.

Item Type: Article (Review)
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Kulliyyahs/Centres/Divisions/Institutes (Can select more than one option. Press CONTROL button): Kulliyyah of Medicine
Kulliyyah of Medicine > Department of Basic Medical
Depositing User: Dr Wael Mohamed
Date Deposited: 06 Jul 2023 09:37
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2023 16:40
URI: http://irep.iium.edu.my/id/eprint/105359

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