Reproductive Research Division

Post, CA, United States

Reproductive Research Division

Post, CA, United States
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Sills E.S.,Reproductive Research Division | Collins G.S.,University of Oxford | Salem S.A.,Reproductive Research Division | Jones C.A.,Burlington College | And 2 more authors.
Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology | Year: 2012

Background: During in vitro fertilization (IVF), fertility patients are expected to self-administer many injections as part of this treatment. While newer medications have been developed to substantially reduce the number of these injections, such agents are typically much more expensive. Considering these differences in both cost and number of injections, this study compared patient preferences between GnRH-agonist and GnRH-antagonist based protocols in IVF.Methods: Data were collected by voluntary, anonymous questionnaire at first consultation appointment. Patient opinion concerning total number of s.c. injections as a function of non-reimbursed patient cost associated with GnRH-agonist [A] and GnRH-antagonist [B] protocols in IVF was studied.Results: Completed questionnaires (n = 71) revealed a mean +/- SD patient age of 34 +/- 4.1 yrs. Most (83.1%) had no prior IVF experience; 2.8% reported another medical condition requiring self-administration of subcutaneous medication(s). When out-of-pocket cost for [A] and [B] were identical, preference for [B] was registered by 50.7% patients. The tendency to favor protocol [B] was weaker among patients with a health occupation. Estimated patient costs for [A] and [B] were $259.82 +/- 11.75 and $654.55 +/- 106.34, respectively (p < 0.005). Measured patient preference for [B] diminished as the cost difference increased.Conclusions: This investigation found consistently higher non-reimbursed direct medication costs for GnRH-antagonist IVF vs. GnRH-agonist IVF protocols. A conditional preference to minimize downregulation (using GnRH-antagonist) was noted among some, but not all, IVF patient sub-groups. Compared to IVF patients with a health occupation, the preference for GnRH-antagonist was weaker than for other patients. While reducing total number of injections by using GnRH-antagonist is a desirable goal, it appears this advantage is not perceived equally by all IVF patients and its utility is likely discounted heavily by patients when nonreimbursed medication costs reach a critical level. © 2012 Sills et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


PubMed | Reproductive Research Division
Type: | Journal: Reproductive biology and endocrinology : RB&E | Year: 2012

During in vitro fertilization (IVF), fertility patients are expected to self-administer many injections as part of this treatment. While newer medications have been developed to substantially reduce the number of these injections, such agents are typically much more expensive. Considering these differences in both cost and number of injections, this study compared patient preferences between GnRH-agonist and GnRH-antagonist based protocols in IVF.Data were collected by voluntary, anonymous questionnaire at first consultation appointment. Patient opinion concerning total number of s.c. injections as a function of non-reimbursed patient cost associated with GnRH-agonist [A] and GnRH-antagonist [B] protocols in IVF was studied.Completed questionnaires (n=71) revealed a mean +/- SD patient age of 34 +/- 4.1yrs. Most (83.1%) had no prior IVF experience; 2.8% reported another medical condition requiring self-administration of subcutaneous medication(s). When out-of-pocket cost for [A] and [B] were identical, preference for [B] was registered by 50.7% patients. The tendency to favor protocol [B] was weaker among patients with a health occupation. Estimated patient costs for [A] and [B] were $259.82 +/- 11.75 and $654.55 +/- 106.34, respectively (p<0.005). Measured patient preference for [B] diminished as the cost difference increased.This investigation found consistently higher non-reimbursed direct medication costs for GnRH-antagonist IVF vs. GnRH-agonist IVF protocols. A conditional preference to minimize downregulation (using GnRH-antagonist) was noted among some, but not all, IVF patient sub-groups. Compared to IVF patients with a health occupation, the preference for GnRH-antagonist was weaker than for other patients. While reducing total number of injections by using GnRH-antagonist is a desirable goal, it appears this advantage is not perceived equally by all IVF patients and its utility is likely discounted heavily by patients when nonreimbursed medication costs reach a critical level.


The unacceptable multiple gestation rate currently associated with in vitro fertilization (IVF) would be substantially alleviated if the routine practice of transferring more than one embryo were reconsidered. While transferring a single embryo is an effective method to reduce the clinical problem of multiple gestation, rigid adherence to this approach has been criticized for negatively impacting clinical pregnancy success in IVF. In general, single embryo transfer is viewed cautiously by IVF patients although greater acceptance would result from a more effective embryo selection method.Selection of one embryo for fresh transfer on the basis of chromosomal normalcy should achieve the dual objective of maintaining satisfactory clinical pregnancy rates and minimizing the multiple gestation problem, because embryo aneuploidy is a major contributing factor in implantation failure and miscarriage in IVF. The initial techniques for preimplantation genetic screening unfortunately lacked sufficient sensitivity and did not yield the expected results in IVF. However, newer molecular genetic methods could be incorporated with standard IVF to bring the goal of single embryo transfer within reach.Aiming to make multiple embryo transfers obsolete and unnecessary, and recognizing that array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) will typically require an additional 12h of laboratory time to complete, we propose adopting aCGH for mainstream use in clinical IVF practice.As aCGH technology continues to develop and becomes increasingly available at lower cost, it may soon be considered unusual for IVF laboratories to select a single embryo for fresh transfer without regard to its chromosomal competency. In this report, we provide a rationale supporting aCGH as the preferred methodology to provide a comprehensive genetic assessment of the single embryo before fresh transfer in IVF. The logistics and cost of integrating aCGH with IVF to enable fresh embryo transfer are also discussed.

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