Frozen–thawed embryo transfer enables surplus embryos derived from IVF or IVF-ICSI treatment to be stored and transferred in subsequent cycles into a more “physiologic environment”. This study aimed to investigate the clinical effect of letrozole use or hMG stimulation on pregnancy and neonatal outcomes in ovulatory patients undergoing FET.
This study includes a total of 5901 FET cycles with letrozole use (n = 1569), HMG (n =1827) or letrozole + HMG (n = 2505). In the letrozole group, 2.5 mg of letrozole was administered on menstrual cycle day 3 to 5 for 3 days for patients, and then follicle growth was monitored beginning on day 10. If the follicular diameter was ≥14 mm on the 10th day, no other ovarian stimulation drugs were needed. If the follicular diameter was <14 mm on the 10th day, 150 IU human menopausal gonadotropin (hMG) was added to stimulate follicle growth every two days (hMG + letrozole group). In hMG stimulation group, a total of 150 IU of hMG was injected every two days to stimulate development of follicles from cycle day 10 to 12.
Compared with the patients undergoing hMG stimulation, the group receiving letrozole or letrozole+HMG stimulation exhibits significantly higher clinical pregnancy rates per transfer (hMG: 47.02% vs letrozole: 52.07% vs letrozole+HMG: 52.26%) and implantation rates (hMG: 31.76% vs letrozole: 34.36% vs letrozole+HMG: 34.24%). In addition, the letrozole group was associated with a statistically significantly lower incidence of miscarriage (hMG: 14.78% vs letrozole: 10.53% vs letrozole+HMG: 14.13%) and ectopic pregnancies (hMG: 1.83% vs letrozole: 0.97% vs letrozole+HMG: 1.58%) than the letrozole + HMG and HMG groups. Neonatal outcomes are similar among the three groups.