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New ovarian stimulation technique offers more cancer patients the chance to preserve their fertility
Date:7/7/2008

struation), without first having to give drugs to stop the luteal phase.

"Although other research has looked at giving medication to stop the luteal phase and then starting regular IVF treatment a few days later, to my knowledge, nobody has ever started ovarian stimulation immediately, without delay, in the luteal phase, either for IVF or for cancer patients," said Dr von Wolff. "This is because, in traditional IVF, ovarian stimulation has to be started at the beginning of the menstrual cycle, otherwise the endometrium is inadequately developed and a fertilised oocyte would be unable to implant successfully."

The researchers started ovarian stimulation in 28 patients in the proliferative phase of their cycle (the time from the start of menstruation to ovulation) using standard stimulation medications (GnRH-analogues and human menopausal gonadtropin, HMG, or follicle stimulation hormone, FSH). In a second group of 12 women they started stimulation during the luteal phase, using GnRH-antagonists and recombinant FSH (a synthetic form of FSH) in order to hasten the end of the luteal phase (luteolysis) and promote the development of new follicles containing oocytes.

The average time of ovarian stimulation was 10.3 days in the first group and 11.4 days in the second group. A mean average of 13 oocytes were collected from the first group and 10 from the second group. Nearly 77% and 73% of the oocytes were mature in the respective groups, and after intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), 70% and 75% of the oocytes were fertilised respectively.

The researchers found that if ovarian stimulation was started in the second group during ovulation, then the luteal phase stopped after five days, and if stimulation was started in the mid-luteal phase, then it stopped within two days, enabling new follicles to start maturing.

Dr von Wolff said: "We found that the ovarian stimulation regime for patients in the luteal phase was successful
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Contact: Emma Mason
wordmason@mac.com
34-932-308-810
European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology
Source:Eurekalert

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