Evidence-based reproductive medicine in clinical practice: The case of clomiphene-resistant PCOS

Elisabeth A.A. van Tetering, Hendricus J.H.M. van Dessel, Ben W.J. Mol

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Evidence-based medicine (EBM) tries to integrate best research evidence with clinical expertise and patient values. Clinicians can use this method to provide their counseled patients with the best available evidence. The aim of the present article is to demonstrate the application of EBM in everyday practice. We present a case of a woman with subfertility due to polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) who was not responding to treatment with clomiphene citrate. Herein a search of the literature is discussed, and a randomised clinical trial assessing the effectiveness of a strategy starting with laparoscopic electrocoagulation (LEO) and gonadotrophins is scrutinised with regard to internal validity. Studies on treatment should be appraised regarding method randomisation, concealment of allocation, blinding or masking, comparability of the groups, completeness of follow-up, analysis according to the intention-to-treat principle, equality of treatment of both groups, and adequate sample size. The study reports both treatments to be equally effective with respect to ongoing pregnancy, which is the primary outcome. A strategy starting with LEO seems to be more cost-effective and reduces the number of multiple pregnancies, which are arguments in favour of it. These arguments should be weighed against individual characteristics such as the risk of laparoscopic surgery and individual patient preferences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-94
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Clinics in Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished or Issued - Aug 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Evidence-based medicine
  • Gonadotrophins
  • Laparoscopic electrocoagulation
  • PCOS
  • PICO

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Cite this