Growth hormone cotreatment for poor responders undergoing in vitro fertilization cycles: a systematic review and meta-analysis

The use of growth hormone in poor responders undergoing in vitro fertilization does not increase live birth rates.

Volume 114, Issue 1, Pages 97–109


Mauro Cozzolino, M.D., Gustavo N. Cecchino, M.D., Gianmarco Troiano, M.D., Chiara Romanelli, M.D.



To evaluate the effectiveness of growth hormone (GH) supplementation in improving the in vitro fertilization (IVF) outcomes of poor responders.


Systematic review and meta-analysis.


Not applicable.


Poor ovarian responders undergoing conventional IVF or intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).


Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of poor ovarian responders undergoing a single IVF/ICSI cycle with GH supplementation versus conventional controlled ovarian stimulation. This review was registered in the PROSPERO database before starting data extraction (CRD42020151681).

Main Outcome Measure(s)

Primary outcome was live birth rate. Clinical pregnancy rate, miscarriage rate, ongoing pregnancy rate, number of oocytes, number of mature (metaphase II [MII]) oocytes and the number of embryos available to transfer were considered as secondary outcomes.


Twelve RCTs were included; 586 women were assigned to the intervention group and 553 to the control group. The analysis revealed that patients receiving GH supplementation did not show an increased live birth rate, miscarriage rate, or ongoing pregnancy rate. However, GH supplementation in poor responders increased clinical pregnancy rate, number of oocytes retrieved (mean difference 1.62), number of MII oocytes (mean difference 2.06), and number of embryos available to transfer (mean difference 0.76). Sensitivity and subgroup analyses did not provide statistical changes to pooled results.


The present meta-analysis provides evidence that GH supplementation may improve some reproductive outcomes in poor responders, but not live birth rates.

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