Assisted hatching and intracytoplasmic sperm injection are not associated with improved outcomes in assisted reproductive technology cycles for diminished ovarian reserve An analysis of cycles in the United States from 2004 to 2011

In initial assisted reproduction cycles for which the only diagnosis is diminished ovarian reserve, the practices of assisted hatching and intracytoplasmic sperm injection are not associated with improved live birth rates.

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Samantha Butts, M.D., M.S.C.E., Carter Owen, M.D., Monica Mainigi, M.D., Suneeta Senapati, M.D., M.S.C.E., David Seifer, M.D., Anuja Dokras, M.D., Ph.D.

Volume 102, Issue 4, Pages 1041-1047



To investigate the impact of intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) and assisted hatching (AH) on assisted reproductive technology (ART) outcomes in initial cycles with diminished ovarian reserve (DOR) as the primary diagnosis.


Retrospective cohort study of cycles from the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART) Clinic Outcome Reporting System database.


Not applicable.


A total of 422,949 fresh, nondonor, initial ART cycles of which 8,597 were diagnosed with only elevated FSH and 38,926 were diagnosed with only DOR according to the SART DOR categorization.



Main Outcome Measure(s):

Live birth and clinical pregnancy rates.


ICSI and AH were associated with diminished odds of live birth in SART DOR–only cycles (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] 0.88, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.81–0.96 for ICSI; AOR 0.77, 95% CI 0.71–0.84 for AH). No association between odds of live birth and either ICSI or AH in elevated FSH–only cycles was observed. The combination of ICSI and AH was associated with significantly lower odds of live birth in SART DOR–only cycles but not in elevated FSH–only cycles.


In initial ART cycles for which the only indication relates to a diagnosis of DOR, AH and ICSI are not associated with improved live birth rates.

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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. The journal publishes juried original scientific articles in clinical and laboratory research relevant to reproductive endocrinology, urology, andrology, physiology, immunology, genetics, contraception, and menopause. Fertility and Sterility® encourages and supports meaningful basic and clinical research, and facilitates and promotes excellence in professional education, in the field of reproductive medicine.

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