Performance of cryopreserved pre-embryos obtained in in vitro fertilization cycles with or without a gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist

S. Oehninger, J. P. Toner, L. L. Veeck, R. G. Brzyski, A. A. Acosta, S. J. Muasher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Objective: To evaluate the viability and potential for pregnancy of cryopreserved/thawed pre-embryos obtained after ovarian stimulation using gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist (GnRH-a) adjunct therapy. Design: Retrospective clinical evaluation of all patients receiving a gonadotropin ovarian stimulation protocol (follicle-stimulating hormone/human menopausal gonadotropin [FSH/hMG]) with/without GnRH-a. Setting: Academic tertiary clinical care unit. Patients: Patients receiving leuprolide acetate (LA)/FSH/hMG (n = 136: LA in the luteal phase; long protocol) were compared with patients receiving FSH/hMG alone (n = 130) within the same time-frame in our program (April 1987 through October 1989). Interventions: All patients had both a cycle in which pre-embryos were transferred fresh and a cycle of thaw of cryopreserved pre-embryos (frozen at the pronuclear stage in a slow freeze-thaw protocol using 1,2 propanediol) transferred in monitored natural cycles. Main Outcome Measures: Groups were similar in age, etiology of infertility, and cycle day 3 serum FSH levels; a significantly higher (P < 0.001) number of preovulatory oocytes was recovered in the GnRH-a group. Both groups of patients were transferred an equal number of pre-embryos at the time of IVF. Cycles with frozen/thawed pre-embryos were evaluated based on the analysis of the three main variables that demonstrate cryopreservation efficiency: survival rate, implantation rate, and term pregnancy rate (PR). Results: Non-GnRH-a group (113 transfers): pre-embryo survival, 71.5%; PR/transfer, 24.7%; implantation rate, 16.0%; GnRH-a group (125 transfers): pre-embryo survival 71.6%; PR/transfer, 32.8%; implantation rate, 12.0% (no significant differences). Conclusions: The use of GnRH-a produced pre-embryos of equal aptitude for development after cryopreservation at the pronuclear stage when compared with a similar gonadotropin stimulation treatment without GnRH-a.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)620-625
Number of pages6
JournalFertility and sterility
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • Gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist
  • pre-embryo cryopreservation
  • pronuclear stage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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