Over the past two decades, IVF has seen significant improvements, leading to much improved outcomes for many infertile couples. Nevertheless, a significant proportion of couples still experience the distress of repeated failure to conceive. A history of repeated IVF failure presents a formidable challenge to the fertility specialist offering clinical guidance. By the time patients are convinced something must be wrong, they are often armed with online information from internet-based support forums and insist on alternative approaches. Such alternative approaches are often based on a standard protocol with the addition of adjuvantia, such as aspirin, antibiotics, glucocorticoids or luteal phase estradiol supplementation, which have not been shown to provide clinical benefit in a significant number of studies. This project was a large case-controlled study investigating whether combined adjuvant treatment improves live birth rates in fresh and frozen cycles. We found no benefit of this combined adjuvant strategy in fresh IVF cycles, and possible harm when used in frozen cycles.
The results for this project were presented at the Fertility Society of Australia annual scientific meeting 2013 and were published in Reproductive BioMedicine Online in 2015.
Reference: Motteram C, Vollenhoven B, Hope N, Osianlis T, Rombauts LJ. Live birth rates after combined adjuvant therapy in IVF-ICSI cycles: a matched case-control study. Reprod Biomed Online. 2015 Apr;30(4):340-8.