Author(s): Pelinck MJ, Vogel NE, Hoek A, Arts EG, Simons AH,
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Abstract BACKGROUND: The use of the natural cycle for IVF offers the advantage of a patient-friendly and low-risk protocol. Its effectiveness is limited, but may be improved by using a GnRH antagonist to prevent untimely LH surges. METHODS: In this pilot study, minimal stimulation IVF with late follicular phase administration of the GnRH antagonist cetrorelix and simultaneous substitution with recombinant FSH was applied for a maximum of three cycles per patient. Main outcome measures were pregnancy rates per started cycle and cumulative pregnancy rates after three cycles. RESULTS: A total of 50 patients completed 119 cycles (2.4 per patient). Fifty-two embryo transfers resulted in 17 ongoing pregnancies [14.3\% per started cycle; 32.7\% per embryo transfer; 95\% confidence interval (CI) 7.9-20.7\% and 19.7-45.7\%, respectively]. One dizygotic twin pregnancy occurred after transfer of two embryos, the other pregnancies were singletons. The cumulative ongoing pregnancy rate after three cycles was 34\% (95\% CI 20.6-47.4\%). Live birth rate was 32\% per patient (95\% CI 18.8-45.2\%). CONCLUSIONS: Pregnancy rates after IVF with minimal, late follicular phase stimulation are encouraging. Considering the low-risk and patient-friendly nature of this protocol, it may be a feasible alternative to IVF with ovarian hyperstimulation.
This article was published in Hum Reprod
and referenced in Reproductive System & Sexual Disorders: Current Research