Background: Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is an endocrine disease that affects gynecological health. Treatment of PCOS remains a big challenge for clinicians.
Objective: This meta-analysis was developed to compare the efficacy of co-treatment with traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and letrozole against letrozole monotherapy in the treatment of PCOS.
Search strategy: Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) were electronically retrieved from PubMed, Cochrane Library, China Biomedical Literature Database, China National Knowledge Infrastructure and Wanfang Data; related papers that were not available electronically were manually checked. All papers were assessed according to the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions and the valid data were analyzed using Revman software (The Cochrane Collaboration, Copenhagen, Denmark).
Inclusion criteria: We included RCTs that compared co-treatment with TCM and letrozole against letrozole monotherapy in women with PCOS, which was defined by anovulation, biochemical or clinical hyperandrogenemia and polycystic ovaries. We included trials from all sources.
Data extraction and analysis: Two independent reviewers extracted data, and evaluated study quality according to the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions criteria for RCT, including issues of patient randomization, blinding and bias.
Results: Eight RCTs, involving a total of 537 patients, were included in the present study. The meta-analysis showed that the cycle ovulation rate, the pregnancy rate and the total effective rate of symptom treatment were higher in treatments combining TCM with letrozole, compared with letrozole monotherapy. Although the rate of luteinizing hormone (LH)/follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and the body mass index of the group receiving combined therapy were lower than in letrozole monotherapy, no statistical difference was found in the LH and FSH level between the two groups.
Conclusion: Available evidence showed that co-treatment with TCM and letrozole was more effective than letrozole monotherapy in the treatment of PCOS.