Norethisterone treatment to control timing of the IVF cycle

P. G. Wardle, P. A. Foster, J. D. Mitchell, E. A. Mclaughlin, J. A.C. Williams, E. Corrigan, B. D. Ray, A. Mcdermott, M. G.R. Hull

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30 Citations (Scopus)


The use of norethisterone to control the timing of the preceding menstrual cycle and in consequence the timing of the in-vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle has been evaluated in a therapeutic IVF programme in which oocyte recovery was limited to 2 days each week. A consecutive series of 181 cycles after norethisterone and 29 untreated controls were compared. Menstruation occurred 2- 3 days after norethisterone as planned in 82% of patients overall and in 87% of patients whose menstrual cycle length varied by no more than 2 days about the median. Norethisterone treatment did not significantly affect the outcome of IVF treatment compared with the controls in respect to cycles abandoned (12 versus 0%, respectively), peak follicular diameter (mean 18.1 mm versus 18.3 mm 48 h before laparoscopy), oocyte recovery rate (4.6 versus 4.5 per patient), oocyte morphology (63% versus 52% mature), or fertilization rate (72 versus 65% of mature oocytes). Clinical pregnancies were too few for comparison (rates 27 versus 9% per laparoscopy) but the overall rate (23%) indicated effectiveness of the methods. Prior norethisterone treatment appears to be an effective and useful means of controlling the timing of the oocyte recovery in IVF treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)455-457
Number of pages3
JournalHuman Reproduction
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 1986
Externally publishedYes


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