Objective: To compare the outcome of in vitro fertilisation (IVF) and gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT) cycles in women with or without ultrasound features of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
Design: A consecutive series from January to December 1989.
Subjects: Twenty-five women with PCOS scheduled for assisted conception. The controls were 139 women with normal ovaries.
Setting: A single centre specialist fertility unit, Manchester, UK.
Interventions: Pituitary desensitisation was with buserelin. In the PCOS group ovarian stimulation was with 1 ampoule (75 iu FSH) of hMG/day in 12 women (Group I) and two ampoules/day in 13 (Group II). The controls (Group III) were given two ampoules of hMG daily. Human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG; 10,000 iu) was given when three follicles measured > or = 20 mm diameter.
Main outcome measures: Serum oestradiol (E2) concentrations, number of follicles, clinical pregnancies, features of the ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHS).
Results: Women with PCOS (Groups I or II) had more follicles > or = 14 mm diameter on the day of the hCG injection (P < 0.005), higher serum E2 concentrations on the day after the hCG (P < 0.05) and more oocytes retrieved (P < 0.05) than the controls. The OHS was more prevalent in those with PCOS (32% versus 6.5%; P < 0.05). The clinical pregnancy rate per embryo transfer (27% versus 22%) or gamete transfer (25% versus 39%) and the rate of spontaneous miscarriage (33% versus 12%) were not statistically different.
Conclusions: The pregnancy rate and outcome of pregnancy following IVF or GIFT in women with or without PCOS are similar. Women with PCOS are at a higher risk of developing OHS.