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17-01-2010 | Gynaecology | Article

Testosterone supplementation shows no effect on gonadotrophin responsiveness


Journal abstract

MedWire News: Short-term exogenous testosterone administration has no effect on ovarian follicular recruitment and growth in women of late reproductive age, show US researchers.

The study findings contradict results from primate studies suggesting that androgens may play a role in folliculogenesis and could therefore constitute a potential therapeutic modality.

In their randomized crossover study, Bradley Van Voorhis (University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine) and colleagues administered a 12-day course of transdermal testosterone (2.5 mg patch) or placebo, followed by 7 days of gonadotrophin stimulation to 12 regularly menstruating nonobese women aged 38-45 years.

Following gonadotrophin stimulation, the average number of follicles over 10 mm in diameter was similar in the testosterone and placebo groups, at 2.10 and 2.08, respectively.

The researchers also found no significant difference in serum estradiol levels after follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) stimulation when comparing cycles pre-treated with testosterone versus those treated with placebo.

Luteinizing hormone, FSH, estradiol, and antral follicle counts prior to gonadotrophin stimulation were not altered by testosterone pretreatment, or by crossover.

“Further studies are required to see if there are sub-populations of women who may benefit,” conclude Van Voorhis and team, adding that it may be possible that “different doses and duration of androgen treatment may ultimately be required.”

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a trading division of Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2010

By Ingrid Grasmo