The Effect of Prednisolone Treatment on Pregnancy Rates in in vitro Fertilization Patients with Positive Thyroid Autoantibodies

Sisli Etfal Hastan Tip Bul. 2021 Sep 24;55(3):419-425. doi: 10.14744/SEMB.2020.87259. eCollection 2021.


Objective: This study aims to investigate the effect of prednisolone treatment on the pregnancy rates of in vitro fertilization (IVF) patients with positive thyroid autoantibodies.

Methods: This study was conducted in the IVF unit of Gazi University Faculty of Medicine. It included 158 patients who underwent intracytoplasmic sperm injection using the long-term protocol of a gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonist that was positive for thyroid autoantibodies. Each test's reference value was used as a positive measure of anti-thyroid peroxidase and anti-TG antibodies. On the day of oocyte intake, 44 of 158 patients were started on prednisolone, and the other 114 patients were followed up without medication.

Results: In the control group, pregnancy did not occur in 67.5% of the patients; it was determined that 21.1% were pregnant, 5.3% had biochemical pregnancies, 4.4% had twin pregnancies, 0.9% had triplet pregnancies, and 0.9% had ectopic pregnancies. In the extended prednisolone group, pregnancy did not occur in 56.8% of the patients; it was determined that 36.4% of them were pregnant, 4.5% had twin pregnancies, and 2.3% had biochemical pregnancies. An increase in pregnancy rate was observed in the extended prednisolone group, while a statistically significant difference was found between the groups in terms of the mean values of prednisolone according to pregnancy status (p<0.05). It was thus determined that the rate of conception increased in the extended prednisolone group compared to the controls.

Conclusion: There is a strong relationship between the presence of thyroid autoantibodies and poor IVF results. The coadministration of prednisolone can improve the clinical pregnancy rate in women affected by thyroid autoimmunity.

Keywords: Antithyroid autoantibodies; in vitro fertilization; prednisolone; pregnancy.