FSH Given at hCG Ovulation Trigger Boosts Fertilization Rate

Medscape Today

Nancy A. Melville

November 3, 2010 (Denver, Colorado) — Administration of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) at the time of a human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) ovulation trigger significantly improves fertilization rates, according to a study presented here at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine 66th Annual Meeting.

In the first double-blind placebo-controlled trial of its kind, researchers randomized 188 subjects to receive either an FSH bolus (6 amps) or placebo at the time of the hCG trigger, 36 hours prior to oocyte retrieval.

The results showed that fertilization rates were 63% in the FSH group, compared with 55% in the placebo group (P = .01). Clinical pregnancy rates were 56.8% in the FSH group, compared with 46.2% in the placebo group. The rate of ongoing pregnancy and live birth in the FSH group was 51.6%, compared with 43% in the placebo group.

Fertility specialists have long turned to hCG triggers, which mimic the lutenizing hormone surge in a woman’s cycle, to pharmacologically induce ovulation. The researchers hypothesized that the enhancement of the FSH surge that takes place at the same time would improve fertilization, explained Mitchell Rosen, MD, assistant professor in reproductive medicine at the University of California at San Francisco, and a coauthor of the study.

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Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.