Scientists have analyzed how metformin, a diabetes drug, affects the reproductive system. It turned out that it helps to restore the work of the ovaries and testes in patients with hormonal problems and infertility. In the future, this will help to increase the effectiveness of treatment of diseases of the reproductive system. The article was published in the journal Pharmaceuticals.
Scientists from the Institute of Evolutionary Physiology and Biochemistry named after I.M. Sechenov Russian Academy of Sciences conducted a study in which they analyzed the effect of metformin on the reproductive system of men and women. Based on this, they prepared a large-scale review, in which they summarized the studies of leading foreign scientists and summarized their own results. Clinical studies have confirmed that metformin not only improves the functioning of the reproductive system in both sexes, but also has a beneficial effect on the health of newborns.
“Our study opens up new directions for the use of metformin as a pharmacological drug that improves reproductive functions in women and men with endocrine pathology. There are also prospects for the use of metformin to increase the effectiveness of assisted reproductive technologies,”comments Alexander Shpakov, project manager for a grant from the Russian Science Foundation.
Metformin is a well-studied drug used in type 2 diabetes mellitus and metabolic syndrome. In a healthy body, insulin helps cells to capture glucose, the main source of energy. In diabetes and metabolic syndrome, tissues poorly recognize insulin and do not allow glucose to enter cells, which impairs vascular function, leads to renal failure, causes inflammation and, as it turned out, disrupts the reproductive system.
Metformin increases the sensitivity of tissues to insulin. Researchers have also found that metformin increases the effectiveness of IVF and helps in the treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome. In addition, it has a positive effect on sperm production in men with diabetes or metabolic syndrome. In tests on rats with diabetes, scientists have found for the first time that metformin increases the testes' response to gonadotropins, hormones that are responsible for the normal functioning of the reproductive system. Thus, it enhances testosterone production and stimulates sperm production. As scientists have found out, taking this drug improves reproductive function in men, because not only the number of spermatozoa increases, but also their fertilizing ability.
Author: Anastasia Cherkesova