Testosterone levels in female partners of infertile couples

Relationship between androgen levels in the woman, the male factor, and the incidence of pregnancy
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      Plasma testosterone levels were measured in the female partners of 146 consecutive infertile couples. The incidence of hyperandrogenism in the woman was correlated with ovarian function, incidence of pregnancy, male factor, and response of plasma testosterone levels to prednisone treatment. Over 70 per cent of the patients had pretreatment testosterone levels above 40 ng. per 100 ml. while after a minimum of two months of therapy approximately 80 per cent had levels below 40 ng. per 100 ml. High levels of plasma testosterone were associated with significant prolongation of the follicular phase of the cycle and increased incidence of amenorrhea or anovulation. An over-all pregnancy rate of 50.4 per cent resulted from the treatment. A direct relationship between pregnancy rates and sperm density as well as between pregnancy rates and degree of suppression of plasma testosterone after therapy was observed. These results demonstrate a high incidence of hyperandrogenism in female partners of infertile couples. The effectiveness of glucocorticoid treatment appears to be related to suppression of excessive androgen levels. The data also suggest that infertility is a relative state related to the fertility potential of each member of the couple. Improvement of the fertility potential of either member may result in conception.
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