Ovarian volume measurements have been recently shown to be predictive of response to ovarian stimulation. Women with small ovarian volumes, i.e. <3 cm3, have a higher incidence of cycle cancellation, together with a lower peak oestradiol concentration, lower number of retrieved oocytes, and lower pregnancy rates, compared with women with larger ovarian volumes. We prospectively investigated whether a higher dose, microdose flare gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonist protocol, can improve IVF outcome in women with a small ovarian volume. Only the first IVF cycle was reviewed. In total, 109 women aged <40 years undergoing 109 cycles were prospectively evaluated. Women with an ovarian volume of ≤3 cm3 noted on the day of luteal GnRH agonist administration had their stimulation regimen changed to a more aggressive microdose flare GnRH agonist protocol. In all, 30 women (27.5%) with an ovarian volume of <3 cm3, and 79 women (72.5%) with an ovarian volume of >3 cm3 were compared. Women with an ovarian volume of <3 cm3 had a significantly higher incidence of unexplained infertility as their presenting aetiology, compared with women with a larger ovarian volume (33 and 8.6%, P = 0.0036). There was a significant negative correlation between age and ovarian volume, and between day 3 FSH concentration and ovarian volume. We also report a significant positive correlation between body mass index and ovarian volume. There was also a significant positive correlation between ovarian volume and the number of oocytes retrieved. Despite a trend towards higher day 3 FSH concentrations, a significantly longer duration of stimulation, higher gonadotrophin requirements, and lower oocyte yield, the implantation and pregnancy rates were comparable between the two groups. Women with a small ovarian volume noted at baseline ultrasound can have comparable implantation and pregnancy rates to those with larger ovarian volumes with the use of a higher dose gonadotrophin, microdose GnRH agonist stimulation.
Copyright (C) 2001, European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology
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