Transfer of frozen-thawed embryos is usually carried out in a natural cycle or in a programmed cycle in which the endometrium is exogenously stimulated following down-regulation of the hypophysis. To analyse the possibility that the programmed cycle for embryo transfer can still be hormonally manipulated without the use of gonadotrophin-releasing hormone agonist (GnRHa) we have conducted a prospective randomized study that compared the outcome of frozen-thawed embryo transfer cycles using micronized 17beta-oestradiol and micronized progesterone preparations with and without the concomitant use of GnRHa. One hundred and six patients were randomly divided into two groups. In group A (53 patients) 4 mg/day of micronized 17beta-oestradiol was initiated following down-regulation of hypophysis. In group B (53 patients) oestrogen stimulation started on day 1 of the cycle without prior pituitary down-regulation using a dose of 6 mg/day for 7 days. In both groups, micronized progesterone in a dose of 900 mg/day was administered vaginally after at least 12 days of oestrogen stimulation. Embryo transfer embryo transfer took place 48-72 h thereafter according to the cryopreserved embryonic stage. Overall, none of the patients had any follicular development and only one cycle in group B had to be cancelled because of premature progesterone secretion. The two groups did not differ in age (31+/-5.6 and 31+/-5.0 years), number of embryos transferred per patient (3.4+/-1.2 and 3.3+/-1.0), and day of progesterone initiation (15+/-2.2 and 15+/-1.9 for groups A and B respectively). The endometrial thickness on the day of progesterone initiation was comparable in both groups (11 +/-1.6 and 10+/-1.6 mm for groups A and B respectively). Similarly, the pregnancy rate per embryo transfer and implantation rate in group A (26.4% and 9.5%) were comparable to those of group B (21.1% and 9%). These results indicate that programmed cycles can be successfully applied by administering a high dose of micronized 17beta-oestradiol starting on day 1 of the cycle. Compared to GnRHa programmed cycles, this approach is simpler, more convenient for both the patient and medical staff, and results in a similar success rate at a lower cost.
Journal Article. 0 words.
Subjects: Reproductive Medicine
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