Cumulative live birth rates in more than 3,000 patients with poor ovarian response: a 15-year survey of final in vitro fertilization outcome

A 15-year survey of in vitro fertilization outcome for 3,391 poor responders revealed that cumulative live birth rates diminished with increasing age. Natural cycle protocol is of no benefit.

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Volume 109, Issue 6, Pages 1051–1059


Bei Xu, Ph.D., Yingjia Chen, Ph.D., Dirk Geerts, Ph.D., Jing Yue, Ph.D., Zhou Li, Ph.D., Guijin Zhu, Ph.D., Lei Jin, Ph.D.



To estimate the cumulative live birth rates (CLBRs) in women with poor ovarian response (POR) diagnosed according to the Bologna criteria.


A 15-year population-based observational cohort study.


Teaching hospital.


Between 2002 and 2016 a total of 3,391 women with POR were followed from their first fresh, nondonor IVF cycle until they had a live birth or discontinued treatment. All IVF and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) cycles and cryocycles were included.



Main Outcome Measure(s)

Live birth rates per initiated cycle, the conservative and optimistic CLBR for multiple IVF cycles.


The CLBRs after six IVF cycles were 14.9% for the conservative and 35.3% for the optimistic estimate. The CLBR decreased from 22% for women ≤30 years to 18.3% for women aged 31–34 years, 17.2% for 35–37 years, 13.5% for 38–40 years, 10.5% for 41–43 years, and 4.4% among women >43 years in the conservative analysis. There was a significant decreased CLBR starting at age 38 years compared with women <35 years. After adjusting for age, antral follicle count, basal FSH level, and IVF cycle number, natural cycles were associated with the lowest CLBR among all the protocols, and this difference was significant compared with the other protocols.


For women with POR, the CLBR declined with increasing age. Women with advanced age (≥38 years) achieved a significantly lower CLBR than young poor responders (<35 years). Very low CLBR was associated with women aged >43 years old. Natural cycle IVF is of no benefit for these patients.

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Fertility and Sterility

Editorial Office, American Society for Reproductive Medicine

Fertility and Sterility® is an international journal for obstetricians, gynecologists, reproductive endocrinologists, urologists, basic scientists and others who treat and investigate problems of infertility and human reproductive disorders.