Last updated on April 2018

Conversion of in Vitro Fertilization Cycles to Intrauterine Inseminations in Patients With a Poor Ovarian Response to Stimulation


Brief description of study

The purpose of this study is to compare the efficiency of conversion to IUI and IVF in patients with a poor ovarian response to stimulation

Detailed Study Description

In 5 to 10% of in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycles, a poor response to ovarian stimulation (defined as less than 4 mature follicles) is noted, even though high doses of exogenous gonadotropins are used. To date, there is no consensus on the ideal management strategy in poor responders. There are three therapeutic options available nowadays:

  1. Oocyte retrieval is performed and the IVF cycle continued, despite the low number of mature follicles.
  2. Conversion of the IVF cycle to an intrauterine insemination (IUI), on the condition of having at least one patent fallopian tube and good semen parameters.
  3. Cancelation of the IVF cycle. In everyday practice, it is difficult for the physician to cancel the IVF cycle in the presence of 2, 3 or 4 mature follicles, especially following a lengthy stimulation.

If live birth rates were comparable between IUI and IVF, conversion to IUI would be the better option for poor responders, since it would avoid an invasive procedure (oocyte retrieval) and the associated risk of complications, and is associated with at a lower cost.

To our knowledge, no prospective randomized controlled trial comparing IVF to conversion to IUI in poor responders has been published to date. The studies published so far have been retrospective and observational, and had several methodological flaws.

Therefore, we aimed to analyze whether conversion of IVF cycles to IUI in poor responders would result in the same live birth rates as oocyte retrievals followed by embryo transfers.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT03362489

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