A recent paper(1) by researchers at the Center for Human Reproduction (CHR) in New York City - which describes reasonable live birth chances in women with extremely low ovarian reserve - received the prestigious Austrian Hugo Husslein Prize. The prize is awarded biannually by the Austrian Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
The paper, published in the journal Human Reproduction, reports on the "moderate but reasonable" live birth chances in women with extremely low ovarian reserve, demonstrated by either completely undetectable or very low anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) levels. Women in the study were also older, with mean age approaching 41. Despite these poor prognostic indicators, the authors were able to establish clinical pregnancies in 15.6% of these women.
"With extremely low serum AMH levels, moderate but reasonable pregnancy and live birth rates are still possible. Extremely low AMH levels do not appear to represent an appropriate marker for withholding fertility treatment," concluded the paper.
Based on CHR's protocol, women in the study received DHEA supplementation prior to starting their IVF cycles. While the result of this study may not be applicable to women without DHEA supplementation, the results brings hope to women struggling to achieve pregnancy after 40, as well as to younger women with premature ovarian aging (POA).
"It was a great honor to receive the prize," says Andrea Weghofer, MD, Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Medical University Vienna - a Visiting Associate Scientist at CHR and lead author of the study. She continues: "but the real honor was in demonstrating that these women, who are likely to be turned away by most fertility centers based on poor prognosis, can still be helped with their own eggs, with reasonable success rates."
"This really echoes our philosophy at CHR," adds Norbert Gleicher, MD, Medical Director and Chief Scientist of CHR. "We never turn away patients who fully understand their limited chances, and our entire clinical team literally fights for every egg and every embryo."
CHR, over the years, has made many breakthroughs in treating women with poor prognosis, who failed at other centers or have been refused treatments because of presumed small chances. The center's IVF success rates in such patients have been improving year to year, reaching another record height in 2011.
(1)Weghofer A, Dietrich W, Barad DH, Gleicher N. Live birth chances in women with extremely low serum anti-Müllerian hormone levels. Hum Reprod 2011;26(7):1905-9.
About Center for Human Reproduction
The Center for Human Reproduction (CHR, http://www.centerforhumanreprod.com/), is one of the world's leading fertility centers in New York City with international patient following. CHR has a worldwide reputation as the "fertility center of last resort," specializing in treatment of infertility in women with diminished ovarian reserve due to advanced age or due to premature ovarian aging (POA). Dr. Weghofer and Dr. Gleicher are available for further comments.
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