Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2010 Apr;149(2):175-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ejogrb.2009.12.023. Epub 2010 Jan 13.

Ovarian stimulation and emergency in vitro fertilization for fertility preservation in cancer patients.

Author information

  • 1Racine IVF Unit, Lis Maternity Hospital, Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, and Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel.



To evaluate the outcome of ovarian stimulation and in vitro fertilization (IVF) in women undergoing fertility preservation prior to chemotherapy compared with healthy patients with infertility due to tubal factor.


Case control, retrospective study in an academic IVF unit. The study participants were 21 cancer patients and 1 patient with focal proliferative glomerulosclerosis, undergoing emergency IVF or intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI; Group A) and 22 patients undergoing IVF for tubal factor (Group B). All patients underwent controlled ovarian stimulation, ovum pick-up, and embryo freezing or transfer. The outcome measures included: dose of gonadotropins, mean estradiol and progesterone levels, length of stimulation, number of retrieved oocytes, number of 2 pronuclei zygotes, fertilization rate, and clinical pregnancy rate. Student's t-test was used for assessment of group comparisons.


Patients in Group A (mean age 32.8+/-5.7 years) underwent 22 emergency IVF cycles for fertility preservation prior to chemotherapy. The mean number of days until human chorionic gonadotropin administration was 10.4+/-4.8. Eleven cycles involved normal insemination while nine involved ICSI. In one cycle three arrested immature oocytes were retrieved, and in one cycle no oocytes were retrieved. Donor sperm was used in 9 cycles. Tamoxifen was part of the treatment protocol in 6 IVF cycles of breast cancer patients. The mean age of the women in Group B was 34+/-4.2 years. There were no significant differences in any of the main outcome measures between the two groups. Thawed embryos were transferred in four cancer patients: two patients had colon cancer, one had breast cancer and one had pseudomyxoma peritonei. Two of these four women conceived and gave birth to healthy newborns.


Emergency IVF is a promising approach for preserving fertility in cancer patients. Current treatment protocols offer a minimal time delay until chemotherapy is commenced, and the ovarian stimulation outcomes are comparable to those of women with tubal factor.

Copyright (c) 2009 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk