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Plasma Level and Correlation of Leptin and Prolactin with Fertility Hormones in Women with Infertility in Southwest Nigeria

Author(s): Oke EO, Oke OF, Akande JO*, Akande RO, Smith OS and Ogunro PS

Background: Reproduction is a complex process relying on the interactions between the anatomical structure and the male and female normal reproductive function. Abnormal leptin levels can lead to infertility, obesity, anxiety, depression, hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases. The complex interactions between leptin, fertility hormones and various factors play important role in human fertility.

Objective: This study was designed to determine the plasma level of leptin and prolactin and correlation with fertility hormones in women with infertility.

Methods: This study was a case-control study conducted in 2016 between January and May at Gynaecology and Family Planning clinics of LAUTECH Teaching Hospital, Ogbomoso and Osogbo. A total number of 106 women each recruited as cases and controls after categorizing them as infertile and fertile groups respectively. Total sample of 212 respondents was obtained. Approval was obtained from the Ethics and Research Committee of the institution while informed consent was taken from the study participants. On the third day of the menstrual cycle, venous blood sample was taken from the respondents for analysis. Leptin, Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH), Luteinizing Hormone (LH), estradiol and prolactin were measured. The data obtained were analyzed using the IBM Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) software version 20.0. Level of significance for the study was set at p-value less than 0.05.

Results: Weight and Body Mass Index (BMI) were higher in the subjects than controls and the differences were statistically significant (weight; p=0.029), (BMI; p=0.034) FSH (=0.005), estradiol (p=0.000) and prolactin (p=0.007). The plasma level of leptin was lower in subjects compared to controls and the difference was statistically significant, (p=0.000). The study found a high level of prolactin among 56.6% of the cases and 30.2% of the controls respectively. BMI had negative significant correlation with plasma level of estradiol (r=-0.197, p=0.044). FSH had strong and highly significant positive correlation with LH (r=0.875, p=0.000), while leptin shows weak and negative significant correlation with both FSH (r=- 0.246, p=0.011) and LH (r=-0.229, p=0.018). BMI had negative significant correlation with plasma level of estradiol (r=-0.197, p< 0.05).

Conclusion: There was correlation between plasma level of leptin and prolactin and fertility hormones in women with infertility but the relationship is non-linear and depends largely on the underlying causes of the infertility.

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