Infertility is of increasing significance affecting almost 48.5 million couples around the world. Anovulation is a major cause of infertility in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) accounting for about 80% of women with anovulatory infertility. The prevalence of PCOS varies widely among different ethnic populations and is highest in the Middle East. Ultrasound morphological features of PCOS include the presence of 16 or more follicles measuring 2-9 mm in diameter, and/or an overall large ovarian volume of >10mm3. Women with PCOS ultrasound features exhibit an exaggerated response to controlled ovarian stimulation. Studies have shown that the number of baseline follicles seen on ultrasound strongly correlates with the number of recovered oocytes, and that women with a baseline number of pre-antral follicles exceeding 16 were found to be at increased risk for ovarian hyper-stimulation syndrome.
Controlled ovarian hyperstimulation is an established prerequisite to assisted reproductive techniques with the aim of obtaining a higher yield of oocytes and ultimately increasing success rates. According to the ESHRE/ASRM consensus on infertility treatment related to polycystic ovary syndrome, IVF seems to represent a reasonable treatment option as the risks of multiple pregnancies and ovarian hyper-stimulation syndrome may be kept to a minimum. The optimal stimulation protocol however is still debatable. Recently, patient-friendly stimulation protocols for assisted reproductive technology were introduced aiming at minimizing overall treatment costs and health hazards to the patient. Mild stimulation protocols are considered relatively novel protocols. They consist of combining oral stimulation agents (clomiphene citrate or letrozole) with low-dose gonadotropins as effective alternatives to conventional gonadotropin-only stimulation protocols. Mild stimulation protocol has been associated with better tolerance, ease of use, and comparable livebirth outcomes. We aim to test the hypothesis that mild stimulation protocols could produce a similar proportion of term livebirths to conventional treatment, while reducing treatment costs and health hazards.
This is a prospective non-randomized controlled trial comparing a mild ovarian stimulation protocol to conventional treatment for assisted reproductive technology at the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility - Haifa Idriss Fertility Center - American University of Beirut Medical Center.
We plan to conduct a prospective non-randomized controlled trial comparing a mild ovarian stimulation protocol to conventional treatment for assisted reproductive technology at the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility - Haifa Idriss Fertility Center - American University of Beirut Medical Center.
§ Female patients between 18–40 years of age
§ Antral follicle count exceeding 16 and/or AMH exceeding 3.5 ng/dl
§ PCOS features as per Rotterdam criteria: 2 of 3 criteria: a. Ultrasound morphology; b. Oligo/amenorrhea; c.Hyperandrogenism (clinical or chemical).
§ Recurrent implantation failure
§ Recurrent pregnancy loss
§ Congenital uterine anomalies
§ Untreated maternal medical conditions (Diabetes, thyroid disease…)