This prospective study was designed to examine the feasibility of natural cycle in vitro fertilization (IVF) in poor responders, and the clinical factors that may predict successful outcome. Twenty-two poor responders underwent IVF treatment with 44 unstimulated cycles. The results of the natural cycles were compared with those of the 55 low-response stimulated cycles of these patients during the 12 months prior to the study. Eighteen (82%) patients had at least one oocyte retrieved, while nine (41%) had at least one cycle with embryo transfer. Two (9%) patients each gave birth to a healthy term baby. These results are comparable with those of the stimulated cycles. Serum early follicular follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) level was found to be the only reliable predictor of oocyte recovery and overall outcome in each specific natural cycle. However, because of great variability in basal FSH levels among different cycles of the same patient, this is not a reliable predictor of outcome in future cycles. We conclude that poor responders are a unique group of patients who may benefit from natural-cycle IVF treatment.
- Natural cycle
- Poor response