Follicular versus luteal phase ovarian stimulation during the same menstrual cycle (DuoStim) in a reduced ovarian reserve population results in a similar euploid blastocyst formation rate: new insight in ovarian reserve exploitation

Fertil Steril. 2016 Jun;105(6):1488-1495.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2016.03.002. Epub 2016 Mar 25.


Objective: To compare the euploid blastocyst formation rates obtained after follicular phase (FP) versus luteal phase (LP) stimulation performed in the same menstrual cycle in a preimplantation genetic diagnosis for aneuploidy testing (PGD-A) program in patients with reduced ovarian reserve.

Design: Prospective paired noninferiority observational study.

Setting: Private infertility program.

Patient(s): Forty-three reduced ovarian reserve patients undergoing a PGD-A.

Intervention(s): Both FP and LP stimulations using follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone in combination with gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) antagonist starting on day 2 of the cycle and 5 days after the first oocyte retrieval, respectively, where GnRH agonist was used for both FP and LP ovulation triggering; a trophectoderm biopsy quantitative polymerase chain reaction-based PGD-A strategy; and single euploid blastocyst transfers during a subsequent natural cycle.

Primary outcome measure: euploid blastocyst rate per injected metaphase 2 (MII) oocyte; secondary outcome measures: number of cumulus-oocyte complexes (COCs), MII oocytes, and blastocysts.

Result(s): Patients with an antimüllerian hormone level of <1.5 ng/mL, antral follicle count of <6 follicles, and/or <5 oocytes retrieved in a previous cycle were included. No statistically significant differences were found in the number of retrieved COCs (5.1 ± 3.4 vs. 5.7 ± 3.3), MII oocytes (3.4 ± 1.9 vs. 4.1 ± 2.5), or biopsied blastocysts per stimulated cycle (1.2 ± 1.2 vs. 1.4 ± 1.7) from FP versus LP stimulation, respectively. No differences were observed in the euploid blastocyst rate calculated either per biopsied blastocyst (46.9% vs. 44.8%) or injected MII oocyte (16.2% vs. 15.0%).

Conclusion(s): Stimulation with an identical protocol in the FP and LP of the same menstrual cycle resulted in a similar number of blastocysts in patients with reduced ovarian response. The LP stimulation statistically significantly contributed to the final transferable blastocyst yield, thus increasing the number of patients undergoing transfer per menstrual cycle.

Keywords: Euploid blastocyst yield; PGD-A; luteal phase stimulation; oocyte collection; ovarian stimulation.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aneuploidy
  • Blastocyst / physiology*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Embryo Transfer / methods
  • Female
  • Follicular Phase / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Luteal Phase / physiology*
  • Menstrual Cycle / physiology
  • Ovarian Reserve / physiology*
  • Ovulation Induction / methods*
  • Prospective Studies