For definitions of terminology see the Glossary
Assisted reproduction techniques such as in vitro fertilisation (IVF) and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) can help subfertile couples to create a family. In a normal cycle only one egg will mature and is suitable for fertilisation. When IVF or ICSI are performed, the fertilisation of the egg takes place outside the woman's body. Multiple eggs are needed for IVF and ICSI to increase the number of suitable fertilised eggs for transfer to the woman. After the eggs are fertilised, they become embryos. One, two and sometimes three embryos are transferred; the other embryos can be cryopreserved and transferred in a later treatment cycle.
The development of multiple eggs is achieved by controlled ovarian stimulation (COS) with follicle stimulation hormone (FSH). Current treatment regimens prescribe daily injections of FSH during the first seven days of COS. A new treatment is available and one single injection of long-acting FSH, called corifollitropin alfa, can replace the first seven injections of FSH. The optimal dose of long-acting FSH is still being determined.
The aim of this review was to compare the effectiveness of long-acting FSH versus daily FSH in terms of pregnancy and safety outcomes in women undergoing IVF or ICSI treatment cycles. We included four trials involving a total of 2335 women. The results suggested that a medium dose of long-acting FSH provides similar numbers of live births as daily FSH. The serious adverse event ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) occurred equally with both treatments.
It can be concluded that medium dose long-acting FSH is a safe treatment option and is equally effective compared to daily FSH injections.