Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics

, Volume 33, Issue 4, pp 489–494 | Cite as

Donor TSH level is associated with clinical pregnancy among oocyte donation cycles

  • Anatte E. KarmonEmail author
  • Eden R. Cardozo
  • Irene Souter
  • Julie Gold
  • John C. Petrozza
  • Aaron K. Styer
Assisted Reproduction Technologies



The purpose of the study is to evaluate the association between donor TSH level (independent of recipient TSH level) and recipient pregnancy outcome among fresh donor oocyte IVF cycles.


This is a retrospective cohort study investigating 232 consecutive fresh donor-recipient cycles (200 total oocyte donors) at an academic medical center. Main outcome measures include clinical pregnancy and live birth.


Cycles were categorized into two groups based on donor TSH level (< 2.5 and ≥ 2.5 mIU/L). After controlling for multiple donor and recipient characteristics, the probability of clinical pregnancy was significantly lower among donors with TSH levels ≥2.5 mIU/L compared to those with TSH values <2.5 mIU/L (43.1 %, 95 % CI 28.5–58.9, versus 66.7 %, 95 % CI 58.6–73.9, respectively, p = 0.01). The difference in live birth rates between the two groups did not achieve statistical significance (43.1 %, 95 % CI 28.8–58.6, versus 58.0 %, 95 % CI 50.0–65.6, respectively, p = 0.09).


Donor TSH level, independent of recipient TSH level, is associated with recipient clinical pregnancy. These findings suggest that thyroid function may impact the likelihood of pregnancy at the level of the oocyte.


Thyroid-stimulating hormone Oocyte donation Infertility In vitro fertilization 



We would like to express our gratitude to the Deborah Kelly Center for Outcomes Research of the Vincent Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Massachusetts General Hospital for the generous support of this study.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


  1. 1.
    Colicchia M, Campagnolo L, Baldini E, Ulisse S, Valensise H, Moretti C. Molecular basis of thyrotropin and thyroid hormone action during implantation and early development. Hum Reprod Update. 2014;20(6):884–904. doi: 10.1093/humupd/dmu028.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Detti L, Uhlmann RA, Fletcher NM, Diamond MP, Saed GM. Endometrial signaling pathways during ovarian stimulation for assisted reproduction technology. Fertil Steril. 2013;100(3):889–94. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2013.05.027.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Aghajanova L, Stavreus-Evers A, Lindeberg M, Landgren BM, Sparre LS, Hovatta O. Thyroid-stimulating hormone receptor and thyroid hormone receptors are involved in human endometrial physiology. Fertil Steril. 2011;95(1):230–7. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2010.06.079. 7 e1-2.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Practice Committee of American Society for Reproductive M. Diagnostic evaluation of the infertile female: a committee opinion. Fertil Steril. 2012;98(2):302–7. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2012.05.032.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Gracia CR, Morse CB, Chan G, Schilling S, Prewitt M, Sammel MD, et al. Thyroid function during controlled ovarian hyperstimulation as part of in vitro fertilization. Fertil Steril. 2012;97(3):585–91. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2011.12.023.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Fitko R, Kucharski J, Szlezyngier B, Jana B. The concentration of GnRH in hypothalamus, LH and FSH in pituitary, LH, PRL and sex steroids in peripheral and ovarian venous plasma of hypo- and hyperthyroid, cysts-bearing gilts. Anim Reprod Sci. 1996;45(1–2):123–38.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Lindsay AN, Voorhess ML, MacGillivray MH. Multicystic ovaries in primary hypothyroidism. Obstet Gynecol. 1983;61(4):433–7.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Wakim AN, Paljug WR, Jasnosz KM, Alhakim N, Brown AB, Burholt DR. Thyroid hormone receptor messenger ribonucleic acid in human granulosa and ovarian stromal cells. Fertil Steril. 1994;62(3):531–4.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Cecconi S, Rucci N, Scaldaferri ML, Masciulli MP, Rossi G, Moretti C, et al. Thyroid hormone effects on mouse oocyte maturation and granulosa cell aromatase activity. Endocrinology. 1999;140(4):1783–8. doi: 10.1210/endo.140.4.6635.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Styer AK, Wright DL, Wolkovich AM, Veiga C, Toth TL. Single-blastocyst transfer decreases twin gestation without affecting pregnancy outcome. Fertil Steril. 2008;89(6):1702–8. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2007.05.036.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Garber JR, Cobin RH, Gharib H, Hennessey JV, Klein I, Mechanick JI, et al. Clinical practice guidelines for hypothyroidism in adults: cosponsored by the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists and the American Thyroid Association. Endocr Pract Off J Am Coll Endocrinol Am Assoc Clin Endocrinologist. 2012;18(6):988–1028.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Rae MT, Gubbay O, Kostogiannou A, Price D, Critchley HO, Hillier SG. Thyroid hormone signaling in human ovarian surface epithelial cells. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2007;92(1):322–7. doi: 10.1210/jc.2006-1522.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Poppe K, Velkeniers B. Female infertility and the thyroid. Best Pract Res Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2004;18(2):153–65. doi: 10.1016/j.beem.2004.03.004.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Karmon AE, Batsis M, Chavarro JE, Souter I. Preconceptional thyroid-stimulating hormone levels and outcomes of intrauterine insemination among euthyroid infertile women. Fertil Steril. 2015;103(1):258–63.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2014.09.035.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Krassas GE, Pontikides N, Kaltsas T, Papadopoulou P, Paunkovic J, Paunkovic N, et al. Disturbances of menstruation in hypothyroidism. Clin Endocrinol. 1999;50(5):655–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Scoccia B, Demir H, Kang Y, Fierro MA, Winston NJ. In vitro fertilization pregnancy rates in levothyroxine-treated women with hypothyroidism compared to women without thyroid dysfunction disorders. Thyroid Off J Am Thyroid Assoc. 2012;22(6):631–6. doi: 10.1089/thy.2011.0343.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Kim CH, Ahn JW, Kang SP, Kim SH, Chae HD, Kang BM. Effect of levothyroxine treatment on in vitro fertilization and pregnancy outcome in infertile women with subclinical hypothyroidism undergoing in vitro fertilization/intracytoplasmic sperm injection. Fertil Steril. 2011;95(5):1650–4. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2010.12.004.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Cramer DW, Sluss PM, Powers RD, McShane P, Ginsburgs ES, Hornstein MD, et al. Serum prolactin and TSH in an in vitro fertilization population: is there a link between fertilization and thyroid function? J Assist Reprod Genet. 2003;20(6):210–5.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Wakim AN, Polizotto SL, Buffo MJ, Marrero MA, Burholt DR. Thyroid hormones in human follicular fluid and thyroid hormone receptors in human granulosa cells. Fertil Steril. 1993;59(6):1187–90.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Gilbert RM, Hadlow NC, Walsh JP, Fletcher SJ, Brown SJ, Stuckey BG, et al. Assessment of thyroid function during pregnancy: first-trimester (weeks 9–13) reference intervals derived from Western Australian women. Med J Aust. 2008;189(5):250–3.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Reh A, Grifo J, Danoff A. What is a normal thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) level? Effects of stricter TSH thresholds on pregnancy outcomes after in vitro fertilization. Fertil Steril. 2010;94(7):2920–2. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2010.06.041.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Aghahosseini M, Asgharifard H, Aleyasin A, Tehrani Banihashemi A. Effects of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) level on clinical pregnancy rate via in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedure. Med J Islam Repub Iran. 2014;28:46.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anatte E. Karmon
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Eden R. Cardozo
    • 1
    • 2
  • Irene Souter
    • 1
    • 2
  • Julie Gold
    • 1
  • John C. Petrozza
    • 1
    • 2
  • Aaron K. Styer
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Vincent Reproductive Medicine and IVF, Vincent Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyMassachusetts General HospitalBostonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive BiologyHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA

Personalised recommendations