Clomiphene citrate significantly improved markers of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and improved ovulation and pregnancy outcomes in women with PCOS, according to data from 72 women.
Nitric oxide (NO), interleukin-10 (IL-10), and matrix metalloproteinase–9 (MMP-9) “are known to be involved in the pathogenesis as well as the complications of PCOS,” wrote Angel Mercy Sylus, MD, of the Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education & Research, Puducherry, India, and colleagues.
Clomiphene citrate is used to treat infertility, including infertile women with PCOS, but its mechanism of action remains unclear, the researchers wrote.
In a studyin the European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology, the researchers enrolled 72 women with PCOS. The women received 50 mg of oral clomiphene citrate daily on days 3-7 of their cycles to induce ovulation. Levels of NO, IL-10, and MMP-9 were measured at baseline and after 3 weeks. The average age of the women was 25 years, and the average body mass index was 26.4 kg/m2.
After the participants took clomiphene citrate, their levels of NO and IL-10 were significantly higher, compared with baseline (P = .03 and P less than .001, respectively), and MMP-9 levels were significantly lower, compared with baseline (P less than .001).
The ovulation rate in the study population was 52.8%, and the clinical pregnancy rate was 19.4%. Levels of MMP-9 were significantly reduced (P less than .001) in the ovulatory group, compared with the nonovulatory group, the researchers noted. “Although the mechanism through which CC [clomiphene citrate] reduces MMP-9 and increases IL-10 is not clear, our findings indicate that CC therapy improves ovulation by reducing inflammation and reducing MMP-9 levels,” they wrote.
The findings were limited by several factors, mainly by the timing of the 4-week assessment of NO, IL-10, and MPP-9 for ethical reasons, the researchers wrote. They did not get study approval to conduct a separate blood collection. In addition, the study did not measure the effect of increasing doses of clomiphene citrate.
However, the results have suggested that clomiphene citrate can help promote ovulation and pregnancy for infertile women with PCOS, and further studies are needed to assess the mechanism of action and the effect of higher doses on NO, IL-10, and MPP-9, the researchers wrote.
The study was supported by a grant from the Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research intramural fund. The researchers had no financial conflicts to disclose.
SOURCE: Sylus AM et al. .