A comparative study of luteal estradiol pre-treatment in GnRH antagonist protocols and in micro dose flare protocols for poor-responding patients

Robab Davar, Mozhgan Rahsepar, Elham Rahmani
Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics 2013, 287 (1): 149-53

PURPOSE: This study aims to verify if luteal estradiol pre-treatment improves IVF/ICSI outcomes in a GnRH antagonist protocol as compared with a micro dose GnRH agonist protocol in poor-responding patients.

METHODS: A total of 116 IVF/ICSI cycles were included in this prospective randomized single blind clinical trial. The selected women were randomly assigned to receive an estradiol pre-treatment in a GnRH antagonist protocol (daily oral Estradiol Valerate 4 mg preceding the IVF cycle from the 21st day until the first day of the next cycle) or in oral contraceptive pill micro dose GnRH agonist protocol.

RESULTS: The patients in the luteal estradiol protocol required more days of stimulation (10.9 ± 1.6 vs. 10.2 ± 1.8) and a greater gonadotropin requirement (3,247.8 ± 634.6 vs. 2,994.8 ± 611 IU), yet similar numbers of oocytes were retrieved and fertilized. There was no significant difference between the two groups in terms of the implantation rates (9.8 vs. 7.9 %) and the clinical pregnancy rates per transfer (16.3 vs. 15.6 %).

CONCLUSION: This study demonstrates that the use of estradiol during a preceding luteal phase in a GnRH antagonist protocol can provide similar IVF outcomes when compared to a micro dose GnRH agonist protocol.

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