Microdose flare protocol with interrupted follicle stimulating hormone and added androgen for poor responders An observational pilot study

Capsule:
The androgen–interrupted follicle stimulating hormone protocol may improve follicular response during a microdose flare stimulation cycle in women with slow follicular growth or asynchronous follicular development.

Authors:
Frederic Mitri, M.D., Lucy Ann Behan, M.D., Courtney A. Murphy, B.H.Sc., Anat Hershko-Klement, M.D., Robert F. Casper, M.D., Yaakov Bentov, M.D., M.Sc.

Volume 105, Issue 1, Pages 100-105

Abstract:

Objective:
To investigate whether temporarily withholding FSH and adding androgen could improve follicular response during a microdose flare protocol in women with slow follicular growth or asynchronous follicular development.

Design:
Observational pilot study.

Setting:
University-affiliated private fertility center.

Patient(s):
Twenty-six women aged 34–47 years with poor response to stimulation or a previous cancelled IVF cycle and with slow or asynchronous follicular growth during a microdose flare cycle.

Intervention(s):
For 13 women, after initiation of ovarian stimulation using the microdose flare protocol, gonadotropin administration was interrupted and transdermal testosterone gel was added for several days (4.4 ± 1.2 d) starting after cycle day 7 (mean cycle day 10 ± 2.6).

Main Outcome Measure(s):
FSH, E2, follicular growth, and total number of mature oocytes retrieved were determined for all of the patients. Cycle cancellation rate as well as pregnancy rate following embryo transfer were also documented when applicable.

Result(s):
FSH levels declined (25.2 ± 6.5 to 6.8 ± 3.2 IU/L), E2 levels increased (896 ± 687 to 2,163 ± 1,667 pmol/L), and follicular growth improved significantly during gonadotropin interruption and were tracked for 2 days during this time frame. The average number of oocytes retrieved was 5.3 ± 2.6, and the ratio of mature to total oocytes was 4:5. Four of the 13 women in the interruption group became pregnant following frozen embryo transfer, whereas none in the control group did.

Conclusion(s):
The androgen–interrupted FSH protocol may improve follicular response to gonadotropins in cycles that might otherwise be cancelled.

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