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Oral Microdose Lupron Versus Luteal Estradiol Trial in Poor Responder In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) Patients

Information source: Weill Medical College of Cornell University
ClinicalTrials.gov processed this data on August 23, 2015
Link to the current ClinicalTrials.gov record.

Condition(s) targeted: Infertility

Intervention: Oral contraceptive pill and microdose lupron (Drug); E2 patch/antagonist (Drug)

Phase: Phase 4

Status: Withdrawn

Sponsored by: Weill Medical College of Cornell University

Official(s) and/or principal investigator(s):
Zev Rosenwaks, M.D., Principal Investigator, Affiliation: Weill Medical College of Cornell University


Hundreds of thousands of couples in the United States experience infertility each year. When initial measures do not help, some couples require a process called ovarian stimulation and in vitro fertilization (IVF). Usually, a woman produces at most one egg each month. Ovarian stimulation helps these women make more than one egg per month. However, this involves taking hormones that stimulate the ovary to produce many eggs at one time. The stimulatory hormones injected with a small needle. The eggs are removed from the ovary through a surgical procedure and then placed in a dish for fertilization by sperm to form embryos. The embryos are grown in the laboratory then replaced into the woman's uterus 3-5 days later. The stimulation of the ovaries is important. Some patients undergo ovarian stimulation for IVF but do not respond to the treatment. This is a very difficult situation because even though several ovarian stimulation protocols have been used for poor responder patients, it is not clear which protocol works best. In fact, two of the most commonly used protocols have not been directly compared. This study will randomize (like flipping a coin) couples with a history of low response who are going to start IVF treatment into two groups. In one group the female partner will use a protocol called "E2 patch/antagonist". These women will use an estrogen patch and injected antagonist for several days before starting injectable fertility medications. The other group will use a protocol called "OCP/microdose". This group of women will use oral contraceptive pills (OCPs) and small doses of lupron along with the other injectable fertility medications. We will then follow their progress to see how many eggs they produce and how many women get pregnant.

Clinical Details

Official title: A Randomized Controlled Trial of Treatment Protocols to Optimize Outcomes in Poor Responder In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) Patients: E2 Patch/Antagonist Protocol Versus OCP/Microdose Lupron Protocol

Study design: Allocation: Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Open Label, Primary Purpose: Treatment

Primary outcome: Pregnancy rate

Secondary outcome:

Cycle cancellation rate

Peak estradiol level

Ampules of gonadotropins required during ovarian stimulation

Number of days of ovarian stimulation

Number of oocytes retrieved

Number of embryos transferred

Number of embryos frozen

Embryo grade

Implantation rate

Miscarriage rate

Pregnancy outcome

Detailed description: Patients who have difficulty conceiving naturally often seek medical advice. These patients often undergo initial treatment with insemination using oral or injectable medications. However, if this fails to achieve a pregnancy, patients often undergo in vitro fertilization (IVF). IVF is a process which involves a protocol of injectable medications to stimulate the ovary to produce several eggs at once. These eggs are retrieved under ultrasound guidance and fertilized in the laboratory. After 3-5 days of growth in the laboratory, the appropriate number of embryos is then transferred back to the patient's uterus. Sometimes, patients who go through ovarian stimulation and IVF do not respond well. These patients have low estrogen levels, few eggs retrieved, and fewer embryos to transfer back to the uterus. Overall, they have lower pregnancy rates than other patients. It is not clear which medication protocol would give them the highest chance of pregnancy. Two protocols, one called the "E2/antagonist" protocol and the other called the "OCP/microdose" protocol, are routinely used in poor responder patients. But, they have never been prospectively compared so it is not possible to say whether one approach is better. In order to determine which medication protocol results in more pregnancies, we propose to randomize poor responder patients who are scheduled to undergo treatment with IVF to one of these two protocols. These two protocols are already standard care in IVF centers around the world. Following randomization, the clinical care of study participants will be the same as all other IVF patients. Specifically, the adjustment of medication, egg retrieval, and embryo transfer procedures will be identical to non-study patients undergoing IVF. HYPOTHESIS We hypothesize that the poor responder patients undergoing ovarian stimulation for IVF with the E2/antagonist protocol will have a higher pregnancy rate than those in the OCP/microdose group.


Minimum age: 18 Years. Maximum age: 50 Years. Gender(s): Female.


Inclusion Criteria:

- Females of couples with an indication for IVF who have a history of poor response as

defined by one of the following:

- Cancellation of IVF due to inadequate follicular development

- Peak estradiol < 1000 pg/mL

- < 6 oocytes retrieved

- Age ≥18 years at the time of signing informed consent

- Availability of ejaculatory sperm (use of donated and/or cryopreserved sperm is


- Willing and able to sign informed consent

Exclusion Criteria:

- Prior use of the E2/ganirelix or OCP/microdose protocol

- Less than 2 ovaries or any other ovarian abnormality

- Presence of uncorrected unilateral or bilateral hydrosalpinx

- Presence of any clinically relevant pathology affecting the uterine cavity or

intramural fibroid ≥ 5cm

- Contraindications for the use of gonadotropins (e. g. tumors, pregnancy/lactation,

undiagnosed vaginal bleeding, hypersensitivity, clinically significant ovarian cysts)

- Contraindications for the use of oral contraceptive pills (h/o thromboembolism,

breast cancer, undiagnosed vaginal bleeding)

- Contraindications for the use of estrogen patches (h/o thromboembolism, breast

cancer, undiagnosed vaginal bleeding)

- Abnormal karyotyping of the patient or her partner (if karyotyping is performed)

- Hypersensitivity to any of the concomitant medication prescribed as part of the

treatment regimen in this protocol

- Transfer of embryos to the patient not planned (i. e. gestational carrier use planned,

embryos to be frozen)

- Unable to give informed consent

Locations and Contacts

The Ronald O. Perlman and Claudia Cohen Center for Reproductive Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, New York 10021, United States
Additional Information

The Ronald O. Perlman and Claudia Cohen Center for Reproductive Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College

Starting date: January 2009
Last updated: June 21, 2013

Page last updated: August 23, 2015

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