Is the use of a GnRH antagonist effective in patients with polycystic ovarian syndrome? A South African perspective
Introduction. Polycystic ovarian disease (PCOS) can account for up to 35 - 40% of the female factor causes of infertility. These patients present as medically complex cases and are challenging to manage and treat successfully. They are resistant to treatment and are often offered controlled ovarian stimulation (COS) and in vitro fertilisation (IVF) technology. Aim. The aim of this study was to assess whether there was a difference in the pregnancy outcomes of women with PCOS when a standard gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH) antagonist (cetrorelix) protocol was used for ovarian stimulation, compared with non-PCOS patients undergoing IVF. Methods. A retrospective patient record audit was performed on 142 patients with PCOS and 501 non-PCOS patients undergoing a similar cetrorelix-based COS treatment protocol during a specified time period. Results. The main primary outcome was an ongoing pregnancy at 12 weeks, achieved in 34% of patients in the PCOS group and 27% in the non-PCOS group. This was not significantly different (p=0.07). No patient in the PCOS group experienced severe hyperstimulation syndrome. Conclusion. There was no significant difference in pregnancy rates in patients with PCOS undergoing GnRH-antagonist ovarian stimulation compared with non-PCOS patients. The fact that no hyperstimulation syndrome occurred makes this an attractive option for women with PCOS.