Regimen of ovarian stimulation affects oocyte and therefore embryo quality
This review examines the role of LH supplementation in older women, growth hormone in poor responders, and different triggering strategies and their impact on oocyte quality and cycle outcome.
Ernesto Bosch, M.D., Elena Labarta, M.D., Efstratios Kolibianakis, M.D., Mitchell Rosen, M.D., David Meldrum, M.D.
Volume 105, Issue 3, Pages 560-571
Without any doubt the regimen used to mature multiple capable oocytes for IVF impacts IVF outcomes. Studies have indicated that the inclusion of LH activity, adjuvant agents such as growth hormone (GH), and regimens providing for simultaneous action of both LH and FSH during final oocyte maturation may have beneficial effects on IVF outcomes. Because of the difficulty in improving IVF outcomes in poor responders, the studies on GH are of particular interest. As pointed out in this review, the apparent beneficial effects of GH on oocyte competence may also apply to older women or to normal responders with reduced embryo quality. A much more difficult question is whether and how much ovarian stimulation impacts on oocyte competence. Paradoxically it seems that there are not demonstrated differences between the stimulated and the natural unstimulated cycle, whereas studies in laboratory animals and IVF patients have shown deleterious effects of higher compared with lower doses of gonadotropins. Recent studies suggest that the use of high doses of gonadotropins as an independent factor correlates negatively with the probability of live birth, whereas a high ovarian response per se is associated with better cumulative pregnancy rates, owing to the availability of more euploid and good-quality embryos. Although adjunctive use of androgens has not been discussed here, it is briefly covered in the first review of this series.