The objective of the study was to assess the effect of growth hormone (GH) supplementation to a combined gonado-trophin-releasing hormone agonist/human menopausal gonadotrophin (GnRHa/HMG) treatment protocol on ovarian response in 'poor responders' undergoing in-vitro fertilization (IVF). GH or a placebo were administered in a prospective randomized double-blind manner. A total of 14 poor-responder patients (oestradiol < 500 pg/ml, less than three oocytes retrieved in two previous IVF cycles) were randomly allocated to a combined treatment of either GnRHa/HMG/ GH (18 IU on alternate days, total dose 72 IU) or GnRHa/ HMG placebo. No difference was found between the study and control groups in the number of HMG ampoules used, the number of follicles (>14 mm) and serum oestradiol concentrations on the day of administration of human chorionic gonadotrophin (HCG), the number of oocytes retrieved and fertilized, and the number of embryos transferred. The GH group (n = 7) did not show a better ovulatory response in the study cycles; mean ± SD serum oestradiol on day of HCG 411 ± 124 versus 493 ± 291 pg/ml, aspirated oocytes 2.2 ± 1.5 versus 1.9 ± 2.0. Interestingly, when the above results for the placebo group were compared with their previous cycles (serum oestradiol 403 ± 231 pg/ml; 0.4 ± 0.5 aspirated oocytes), a non-specific effect was found. Follicular recruitment, oestradiol secretion by mature follicles and the number of oocytes retrieved in poor responders were not improved by GH supplementation.
- Follicular fluid
- Ovulation induction