The Deferred Embryo Transfer Strategy Seems Not to be a Good Option After Repeated IVF/ICSI Cycle Failures

Reprod Sci. 2019 Sep;26(9):1210-1217. doi: 10.1177/1933719118811648. Epub 2018 Nov 20.


Objective: The aim of this study was to assess whether a deferred frozen-thawed embryo transfer (Def-ET) offers any benefits compared to a fresh ET strategy in women who have had 2 or more consecutive in vitro fertilization (IVF)/intracytoplasmic injection (ICSI) cycle failures.

Design: An observational cohort study in a tertiary referral care center including 416 cycles from women with a previous history of 2 or more consecutive IVF/ICSI failures cycles. Both Def-ET and fresh ET strategies were compared using univariate and multivariate logistic regression models. The main outcome measured was the cumulative live birth rate (CLBR).

Results: A total of 416 cycles were included in the analysis: 197 in the fresh ET group and 219 in the Def-ET group. The CLBR was not significantly different between the fresh and Def-ET groups (58/197 [29.4%] and 57/219 [26.0%], respectively, P = .437). In addition, after the first ET, there was no significant difference in the live birth rate between the fresh ET and Def-ET groups (50/197 [25.4%] vs 44/219 [20.1%], respectively). Multivariate logistic regression analysis indicated that compared to the fresh strategy, the Def-ET strategy was not associated with a higher probability of live birth.

Conclusions: In cases with 2 or more consecutive prior IVF/ICSI cycle failures, a Def-ET strategy did not result in better ART outcomes than a fresh ET strategy.

Keywords: ART; IVF/ICSI; fresh embryo transfer; frozen-thawed embryo transfer; repeated IVF/ICSI cycle failures.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Embryo Transfer / methods*
  • Female
  • Fertilization in Vitro*
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Rate*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sperm Injections, Intracytoplasmic*
  • Treatment Failure