Low-dose glucocorticoids after in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer have no significant effect on pregnancy rate

Fertil Steril. 1995 Mar;63(3):571-7. doi: 10.1016/s0015-0282(16)57428-7.


Objective: To determine the effect on pregnancy rate (PR) of low-dose glucocorticoid treatment in cycles without micromanipulation.

Design: Randomized, prospective, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial.

Setting: One university-based tertiary infertility center and two private infertility centers.

Patients: All patients receiving standard stimulation IVF-ET or transfer of cryopreserved embryos at the participating facilities from January to September 1993 were asked to participate in this study. Patients having micromanipulation were excluded from this study.

Interventions: Participating patients were randomized to either 16 mg oral 6-alpha-methylprednisolone for four evenings starting the evening of retrieval or the evening before thawing cryopreserved embryos or to placebo administered in an identical fashion. Both groups were treated with 250 mg oral tetracycline four times per day starting with initiation of the study medication and continuing for 4 days. Cryopreservation and stimulation cycles were managed according to pre-established protocols for all patients. A clinical pregnancy was confirmed by an appropriately rising hCG titer and a gestational sac on ultrasound.

Results: A total of 206 stimulation patients and 61 cryopreservation patients were randomized and had an ET. Patient characteristics were similar between groups. The clinical pregnancy and implantation rates between placebo and glucocorticoid groups were 35.9% versus 40.8% and 12.8% versus 11.7% for stimulation cycles and 30.3% versus 25% and 9.9% versus 7.4% for cryopreservation cycles, respectively. None of these differences were statistically significant.

Conclusions: Glucocorticoid plus antibiotic treatment at these doses for transfers of nonmicromanipulated embryos does not appear to have a significant effect on pregnancy or implantation rates.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Chorionic Gonadotropin / blood
  • Cryopreservation
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Embryo Transfer*
  • Female
  • Fertilization in Vitro*
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone / blood
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Luteinizing Hormone / blood
  • Menotropins / therapeutic use
  • Methylprednisolone / therapeutic use*
  • Placebos
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Pregnancy*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Tetracycline / therapeutic use


  • Chorionic Gonadotropin
  • Placebos
  • Menotropins
  • Luteinizing Hormone
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone
  • Tetracycline
  • Methylprednisolone