The effects of adjuvant therapies on embryo transfer success

Rachael Shirlow, Martin Healey, Michelle Volovsky, Vivien MacLachlan, Beverley Vollenhoven

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13 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Many adjuvant therapies are employed during IVF treatment in an attempt to improve outcomes. The objective of our study was to evaluate the impact of thirteen adjuvants (Intralipid, steroids, melatonin, coenzyme Q10, Filgrastim, testosterone, DHEA, growth hormone, antibiotics, hCG infusion, aspirin, enoxaparin/heparin and dopamine agonists) on the success of embryo transfers. Methods: This is a retrospective cohort study of all embryo transfers between January 2010 and April 2015 from a multi-site IVF clinic. To ensure data independence, random number was applied to each included transfer and used to pick an individual transfer for each patient (n=13,372). Outcomes were clinical pregnancy, live birth and pregnancy loss. Univariate comparison with Chi square testing and logistic regression analysis were used. The level of significance was p<0.05. Results: Steroid use was significantly associated with both reduced clinical pregnancy loss (aOR 0.39, CI 0.19-0.76) and improved live birth rates (aOR 1.40, CI 1.11-1.77). While aspirin was associated with improved live birth rates (aOR 1.48, CI 1.08-2.02), melatonin was linked with reduced rates (aOR 0.66, CI 0.45-0.96). Analyses for all other adjuvant therapies did not reach statistical significance after logistic regression. Conclusion: Many of the interventions investigated in this study fail to significantly demonstrate any effects on the success of embryo transfers. Our analysis results show negative effects with the use of melatonin; however, use of aspirin or steroids demonstrated promising, potentially beneficial outcomes. Additional exploration is needed to guide evidence-based practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)368-378
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Reproduction & Infertility
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017


  • Adjuvant drug therapy
  • Aspirin
  • Melatonin
  • Steroids

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