Gonadotropin-releasing Hormone Agonist Down Regulation Combined With Hormone Replacement Therapy Improves the Reproductive Outcome in the Frozen-thawed Embryo Transfer Cycle of Elderly Patients With Idiopathic Recurrent Implantation Failure
Abstract BackgroundTo determine whether Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonist down regulation combined with hormone replacement treatment (HRT) can improve the reproductive outcomes in the frozen thawed embryo transfer (FET) cycle of elderly patients with idiopathic recurrent implantation failure (RIF). MethodsThis is a retrospective cohort study analyzing 594 elderly patients (aged 36~43 years old) undergoing third cleavage embryo or blastocyst transfer over nearly 5-year period (January 2015–November 2020) at Northwest Women’s and Children’s Hospital after IVF-ICSI cycles. Patients with known endometriosis or adenomyosis were excluded from the study.According to different endometrial preparation protocols, patients were divided into three groups: natural cycle group (NC, n=62), hormone replacement treatment cycle group (HRT, n=194) and GnRH agonist down regulation combined with HRT cycle group (GnRHa-HRT, n=290).Live birth rate was primary outcome while clinical pregnancy rate, miscarriage rate, on going pregnancy rate were secondary outcomes. ResultsLive birth rate in the GnRHa-HRT group (31.90%) was significantly higher than that in the HRT (21.65%) or NC (16.13%) groups (P<0.0001). Logistic regression model adjusting for the potential confounders showed that patients in the GnRHa-HRT group have significantly higher live birth rate compared with those in the HRT group (OR, 2.708; 95%CI,1.251-5.864, P=0.011). However, live birth rate was not significantly different between GnRHa-HRT and NC groups (OR, 1.509; 95% CI,0.657-3.463, P=0.332), which could be due to the small sample size in the NC group.ConclusionsGnRHa-HRT protocol improves live birth rate in FET cycles of elderly patients with RIF. We hypothesize that GnRHa-HRT protocol enhances implantation related factors and promotes optimal endometrium receptivity, leading to the improved live birth rate. These findings are also useful for further investigating the underlying mechanism of GnRHa-HRT protocol in improving the reproductive outcomes of elderly patients with RIF.Trial registration:The research protocol was approved by the hospital institutional ethics committee (2021002).