Objective: The feasibility of a gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist (GnRHa) trigger in normal responders is still a matter of debate. The aim of this study was to compare the number of mature oocytes, the number of good-quality embryos, and the live birth rate in normal responders triggered by GnRHa alone, GnRHa and human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG; a dual trigger), and hCG alone.
Methods: A retrospective cohort study was conducted at the infertility clinic of a university hospital. Data from 200 normal responders who underwent controlled ovarian hyperstimulation and intracytoplasmic sperm injection with a GnRH antagonist protocol between January 2016 and January 2017 were reviewed. The first study group consisted of patients with cycles triggered by GnRHa alone. The second study group consisted of patients with cycles triggered by both GnRHa and low-dose hCG (a dual trigger). The control group consisted of patients with cycles triggered by hCG alone.
Results: The groups were comparable in terms of demographics and cycle characteristics. The numbers of total oocytes retrieved and metaphase II oocytes were similar between the groups. The total numbers of top-quality embryos were 3.2±2.9 in the GnRHa group, 4.4±3.2 in the dual-trigger group, and 2.9±2.1 in the hCG group (p=0.014). The live birth rates were 21.4%, 30.5%, and 28.2% in those groups, respectively (p=0.126).
Conclusion: In normal responders, a dual-trigger approach appears superior to an hCG trigger alone with regard to the number of top-quality embryos produced. However, no clinical benefit was apparent in terms of live birth rates.
Keywords: Assisted reproductive technology; Dual trigger; Final oocyte maturation; GnRH agonist; Normal response.