Old habits die hard: retrospective analysis of outcomes with use of corticosteroids and antibiotics before embryo transfer

There are no differences in pregnancy rates with and without corticosteroids and antibiotics given before embryo transfer.

Volume 107, Issue 6, Pages 1336–1340


Leah Kaye, M.D., Chantal Bartels, M.D., Alison Bartolucci, M.S., Lawrence Engmann, M.D., John Nulsen, M.D., Claudio Benadiva, M.D.



To evaluate clinical pregnancy rates in embryo transfer (ET) cycles with and without peri-implantation corticosteroid and oral antibiotic administration.


Retrospective cohort study.


University-affiliated in vitro fertilization (IVF) clinic.


Eight hundred and seventy-six ETs with or without the routine use of methylprednisolone and doxycycline.


Embryo transfer procedures.

Main Outcome Measure(s)

Clinical pregnancy rates (CPR).


The CPR with the routine use of methylprednisolone and doxycycline was 56.1% compared with 61.5% after discontinuation of these medications. Ongoing pregnancy rates were 49.5% with medications versus 53.2% without medications. Of the cleavage-stage embryos, 79% underwent assisted hatching; among these, the CPR was 28.7% when treated with corticosteroids and antibiotics compared with 47.4% without medications.


No statistically significant difference in overall IVF outcomes was noted after the discontinuation of routine peri-implantation corticosteroids and antibiotics. The use of these medications varies across the country and may be a result of habit rather than evidence-based medicine.

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