The value of delaying hCG administration to enable maturation of medium-sized follicles in patients undergoing superovulation for IVF/ICSI

Awoniyi O. Awonuga, Karen Wheeler, Mili Thakur, Roohi Jeelani, Michael P. Diamond, Elizabeth E. Puscheck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of the study is to determine whether continued stimulation of mature follicles to allow “catch up” growth of medium-sized follicles in assisted reproductive technology compromises the clinical pregnancy (CPR) and live birth (LBR) rates in IVF/ICSI cycles. Methods: This retrospective cohort study reviewed 200 first IVF ± ICSI cycles out of a total of 340 cycles with complete data. Women underwent stimulation protocols with gonadotropins (Gn) and GnRH antagonist. Treatment cycles were divided into two groups (Gp): hCG administration delayed despite the presence of two mature follicles, defined as ≥ 18 mm [Gp1, n = 79] and hCG administration given when there were two mature follicles [Gp2, n = 121]. Results: The patients in Gp1 were significantly younger than those in Gp2 [32.9 (4.5) vs. 34.3 (4.8), p = 0.04] and needed a median of one more day of superovulation before ovulation was triggered with hCG. The extra days was associated with the use of 450 [75–2025] more Gn, such that at the time the hCG was administered, patient’s in group 1 had developed significantly greater number of follicles ≥ 18 mm [mean (SD), 4.9 (1.8) vs. 3.4 (1.7), p OpenSPiltSPi 0.0001]. The clinical pregnancy (48.1 vs. 38.0%, [OR (95% CI)] [1.6 (1.0–2.5), p = 0.09]) and live birth (43.0 vs. 35.5%, [1.4 (0.9–2.3), p = 0.21]) rates per cycle started were not significantly different between the two groups. Forward stepwise logistic regression showed that only maternal age (p = 0.04) influenced clinical pregnancy rates (OR = 0.88, CI 0.78–0.99) and only the number of days for superovulation influenced live birth rates (OR = 0.65, CI 0.486–0.869). Conclusion: This study demonstrated that delaying hCG administration to allow further growth of the medium-sized follicles added further days of superovulation and cost without improvement in CPR and LBR.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)289-295
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2018


  • Follicles
  • IVF stimulation
  • Oocyte retrieval
  • Superovulation
  • hCG

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Genetics
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Genetics(clinical)


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