Adjuvant growth hormone therapy in antagonist protocol in poor responders undergoing assisted reproductive technology

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The incidence of poor ovarian response in controlled ovarian stimulation (COH) has been reported in 9–24 % of IVF-ET cycles. Growth hormone augments the effect of gonadotropin on granulosa and theca cells, and plays an essential role in ovarian function, including follicular development, estrogen synthesis and oocyte maturation. The aim of this study was to assess IVF-ET cycle outcome after the addition of growth hormone in antagonist protocol in poor responders.

Materials and methods

Eighty-two poor responder patients selected for ART enrolled the study and were randomly divided into two groups. Group I (GH/HMG/GnRHant group, n = 40) received growth hormone/gonadotropin/GnRH antagonist protocol and group II (HMG/GnRHant group, n = 42) received gonadotropin/GnRH antagonist protocol.


The number of retrieved oocytes was significantly higher in GH/HMG/GnRHant group than HMG/GnRHant group, 6.10 ± 2.90 vs. 4.80 ± 2.40 (p = 0.035) and the number of obtained embryos was also significantly higher in GH/HMG/GnRHant group than HMG/GnRHant group, 3.7 ± 2.89 as compared to 2.7 ± 1.29 (p = 0.018). There were no significant differences between groups regarding implantation, and chemical and clinical pregnancy rates.


Our study showed that co-treatment with growth hormone in antagonist protocol in patients with a history of poor response in previous IVF-ET cycles did not increase pregnancy rates.

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Conflict of interest

All of authors have any financial relationship with the organization that sponsored the research. We have had full control of all primary data and we agree to allow the Journal to review their data if requested.

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Correspondence to Farnaz Mohammadian.

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Eftekhar, M., Aflatoonian, A., Mohammadian, F. et al. Adjuvant growth hormone therapy in antagonist protocol in poor responders undergoing assisted reproductive technology. Arch Gynecol Obstet 287, 1017–1021 (2013) doi:10.1007/s00404-012-2655-1

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  • Assisted reproductive technology
  • Poor responder
  • Growth hormone
  • Antagonist protocol