A randomized clinical trial to evaluate optimal treatment for unexplained infertility: the fast track and standard treatment (FASTT) trial

Fertil Steril. 2010 Aug;94(3):888-99. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2009.04.022. Epub 2009 Jun 16.


Objective: To determine the value of gonadotropin/intrauterine insemination (FSH/IUI) therapy for infertile women aged 21-39 years.

Design: Randomized controlled trial.

Setting: Academic medical center associated with a private infertility center.

Patient(s): Couples with unexplained infertility.

Intervention(s): Couples were randomized to receive either conventional treatment (n=247) with three cycles of clomiphene citrate (CC)/IUI, three cycles of FSH/IUI, and up to six cycles of IVF or an accelerated treatment (n=256) that omitted the three cycles of FSH/IUI.

Main outcome measure(s): The time it took to establish a pregnancy that led to a live birth and cost-effectiveness, defined as the ratio of the sum of all health insurance charges between randomization and delivery divided by the number of couples delivering at least one live-born baby.

Result(s): An increased rate of pregnancy was observed in the accelerated arm (hazard ratio [HR], 1.25; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.00-1.56) compared with the conventional arm. Median time to pregnancy was 8 and 11 months in the accelerated and conventional arms, respectively. Per cycle pregnancy rates for CC/IUI, FSH/IUI, and IVF were 7.6%, 9.8%, and 30.7%, respectively. Average charges per delivery were $9,800 lower (95% CI, $25,100 lower to $3,900 higher) in the accelerated arm compared to conventional treatment. The observed incremental difference was a savings of $2,624 per couple for accelerated treatment and 0.06 more deliveries.

Conclusion(s): A randomized clinical trial demonstrated that FSH/IUI treatment was of no added value.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Calibration
  • Clinical Protocols / standards
  • Clomiphene / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Fertility Agents, Female / therapeutic use
  • Gonadotropins / therapeutic use
  • Health Care Costs
  • Humans
  • Infertility / economics
  • Infertility / therapy*
  • Male
  • Ovulation Induction
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Rate
  • Reproductive Techniques, Assisted* / economics
  • Reproductive Techniques, Assisted* / standards
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult


  • Fertility Agents, Female
  • Gonadotropins
  • Clomiphene