Adding Low Dose hCG to rFSH in GnRH Antagonist ICSI Cycles: A Randomized Controlled Trial


Inhibition of luteinizing hormone (LH) by gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) antagonist may lead to suboptimal response during ovarian stimulation. In addition, several studies suggest that low level of LH is associated with lowered fertilization and implantation rate and increased early pregnancy loss rate. The aim of this study is to study the effect of adding low dose human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG - 200 IU), as an LH supplement, to recombinant follicle stimulating hormone (rFSH) in a GnRH antagonist cycles in women undergoing in vitro fertilization/intracytoplasmic sperm injection (IVF/ICSI) treatment. Sixty-three infertile women undergoing IVF were randomly divided into two groups. One group was stimulated with the conventional stimulation protocol (rFSH alone), while the second group received 200 IU hCG in addition to rFSH in the late follicular phase (hCG + rFSH). Both groups' results including pregnancy rate, total dose of rFSH required, duration of stimulation, endometrial thickness, oocytes and embryos characteristic, serum hormone levels (Testosterone, Estradiol, Progesterone, and LH) and level of epidermal growth factor (EGF) were compared. The results show that pregnancy rate among the group of women who received the low dose hCG was higher than those who did not receive hCG. However, this difference did not reach statistical significance. Furthermore, other cycle outcomes and hormonal values were comparable between the two stimulation protocols.