Author(s): Mahutte NG, Arici A
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the role of GnRH antagonists in poor-responder protocols. DESIGN: Literature review. CONCLUSION(S): The optimum stimulation protocol for poor responders is unknown. Although many IVF programs currently use GnRH antagonists for poor responders, there have been only four prospective, randomized trials comparing GnRH antagonists to alternate protocols. None of these studies had sufficient power to evaluate a difference in pregnancy rates (PRs), and in all four cases, IVF outcomes were comparable. Nevertheless, interest in the use of GnRH antagonists in poor responders has continued. GnRH antagonists may be associated with simpler stimulation protocols, lower gonadotropin requirements, reduced patient costs, and shorter downtimes between consecutive cycles. However, the greatest advantage of GnRH antagonists may lie in the ability to assess ovarian reserves immediately prior to deciding whether or not to initiate gonadotropin stimulation. The ability to respond to cycle-to-cycle variation in antral follicle counts may allow the optimization of oocyte yield and reduce cycle cancellation rates. It remains to be seen if this approach (initiating gonadotropins only in cycles where an adequate antral follicle count is present) also translates into higher clinical PRs for poor responders.
This article was published in Fertil Steril
and referenced in Reproductive System & Sexual Disorders: Current Research