GnRHa flare and IVF pregnancy rates

E. Confino*, X. Zhang, R. R. Kazer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Objectives: GnRH agonist administered early in the menstrual cycle (flare) causes an endogenous discharge of FSH and LH. Flare has been used in conjunction with gonadotropin ovarian stimulation for IVF 'poor responders'. There is an ongoing controversy regarding whether flare protocols improve pregnancy rates in 'poor responders'. The current study was designed to compare a GnRHa flare protocol with long suppression GnRHa IVF in 'poor responders'. Methods: Seventy-three newly diagnosed poor responders who failed long GnRHa suppression IVF attempts were compared retrospectively with 128 age-matched IVF patients previously known poor ovarian responders treated with a long GnRHa suppression protocol. 'Poor responders' consisted of patients with peak E 2 less than 1000 pg/ml and/or less than five mature follicles with diameter >15 mm on the day of hCG administration. Student's t-test was used to analyze the data and the chi-squared test was used to compare fertilization and pregnancy rates. Results: The flare protocol produced higher peak E 2 levels (1647±747 vs. 720±258 mIU/ml, P<0.05) and a larger number of mature follicles (5.8±2.2 vs. 4.0±1.0 P<0.05) in the study vs. the control group. A 30% pregnancy rate was achieved during this second IVF attempt using GnRHa flare protocol in the study group vs. 37 in the control group (P>0.05, NS). Conclusions: A comparison between the flare protocol group and the age-matched control group of poor ovarian responders subject to down regulation protocol, revealed higher peak E2 levels and more mature follicles, respectively. However, both groups yielded comparable pregnancy rates. The use of high dose gonadotropin treatment in our study groups seems to be the only explanation for their subsequent successful outcome. We concluded that GnRH agonist flare protocol does not result in better IVF outcome compared with long GnRH agonist suppression protocol in IVF poor responders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)36-39
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 2004


  • Flare
  • High dose gonadotropin treatment
  • IVF

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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