In vitro fertilization and embryo transfer for the treatment of infertility associated with polycystic ovary syndrome

R. Homburg*, D. Berkowitz, T. Levy, D. Feldberg, J. Ashkenazi, Z. Ben-Rafael

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To examine the outcome of treatment with IVF-ET of women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) who failed to conceive on conventional treatment. Design: Retrospective analysis with an age-matched control group. Setting: University hospital infertility clinic and IVF unit. Patients, Interventions: Sixty-eight women with PCOS who had failed to conceive on treatment with clomiphene citrate and during six ovulatory cycles on gonadotropins underwent 208 cycles of IVF-ET. An age-matched group of 68 women with a tubal mechanical factor who received 143 treatment cycles during the same period served as controls. Main Outcome Measures: Cumulative conception rates, the cumulative livebirth rates, and IVF-ET data were compared between the two groups. Results of treatment with and without GnRH agonist (GnRH-a) within the groups were also compared. Results: A comparison of PCOS and mechanical factor (control) groups showed almost identical results at 6 months for cumulative conception rate (82% versus 85%) and cumulative livebirth rate (69% versus 65%). Significantly more oocytes were retrieved but a smaller percentage fertilized in PCOS, and the pregnancy rate per ET did not differ between the two groups (23% versus 26%). Treatment with GnRH-a and gonadotropins as opposed to gonadotropins alone improved the cumulative conception rate, miscarriage rate, and cumulative livebirth rate in the PCOS but not in the control group and improved fertilization rates in both groups. Conclusions: For patients with PCOS who fail to conceive with gonadotropin treatment, IVF-ET is a successful treatment alternative, producing results equal to those for women with a mechanical tubal factor. Better results were achieved with GnRH-a in women with PCOS but made no difference to those with a mechanical tubal factor compared with treatment with gonadotropins alone.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)858-863
Number of pages6
JournalFertility and Sterility
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes


  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome
  • cumulative conception rate
  • cumulative livebirth rate
  • gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist
  • in vitro fertilization


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