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Women's perspectives on ovulation induction with or without IUI as treatment for normogonadotrophic anovulation: a discrete choice experiment

N S Weiss, A M F Schreurs, F van der Veen, P G A Hompes, C B Lambalk, B W Mol, M van Wely
Human Reproduction Open 2017, 2017 (3): hox021

Study Question: What are the treatment preferences of women with normogonadotrophic anovulation treated with ovulation induction with or without intrauterine insemination (IUI)?

Summary Answer: Women with normogonadotrophic anovulation differ in their treatment preference; half of them base their preference on the lowest burden and half of them on the highest effectiveness.

What is Known Already: Common treatments for anovulatory women who wish to conceive are ovulation induction using clomiphene citrate or letrozole taken in tablet form or with injections containing gonadotrophins, all optionally combined with IUI. Patient preferences for these alternatives have not yet been examined in these women.

Study Design Size and Duration: Between August 2014 and February 2017 we conducted a multicentre discrete choice experiment (DCE). The target sample size was calculated by including 20 women for six attributes in the main analysis resulting in the inclusion of 120 women to be able to assess heterogeneity across choices.

Participants/Materials Setting Methods: We invited treatment-naive women diagnosed with normogonadotropic anovulation and visiting the outpatient clinic of five Dutch centers (three teaching hospitals and two university hospitals) to participate in the DCE by completing a printed questionnaire. We asked women to indicate their preference in hypothetical alternative treatment scenarios by offering a series of choice sets from which they were to choose their preferred alternatives. The choice sets contained several treatment characteristics of interest, i.e. attributes concerning ovulation induction with clomiphene citrate or letrozole versus gonadotrophins, as well as intercourse and IUI. We selected six attributes: number of visits to the outpatient clinic during treatment; type of medication; intercourse or IUI; risk of side effects; willingness to pay; and pregnancy chances leading to the birth of a child after six treatment cycles.We used a multinominal logit model to determine the preferences of women and investigated heterogeneity in preferences through latent class analysis. To determine if women were willing to make a trade-off for higher pregnancy rates at the expense of a higher burden, we calculated the marginal rate of substitution.

Main Results and the Role of Chance: The questionnaire was completed by 145 women. All six attributes influenced women's treatment preferences and those valued as most important were low risk of side effects, a minimal number of hospital visits and intercourse. A total of 55% of women were driven by the wish to conceive with the least medical interference and lowest burden. The remaining women were success driven and chose mainly for the highest chances to conceive, regardless of the burden. Age and duration of subfertility did not significantly differ between these women. Women were willing to trade-off some burden and costs for higher pregnancy chances.

Limitations Reasons for Caution: The sample size of our study is relatively small which made it not possible to perform interaction tests and subgroup analyses.

Wider Implications of the Findings: Our results may be used during the counseling of couples about their treatment options. These findings are an argument to explore if a woman prefers potentially fast success or a medically less intense route that might take longer. The preference for the less intense route would lead to the continuation of ovulation induction with oral drugs such as clomiphene citrate or letrozole rather than treatment with injected gonadotrophins, or even IVF.

Study Funding/Competing Interests: B.W.M. is supported by a NHMRC Practitioner Fellowship (GNT1082548). B.W.M. reports consultancy for Merck, ObsEva and Guerbet. CBL reports grants from Merck and Ferring.

Trial Registration Number: None.


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