Cumulative live birth rates do not increase after 4 complete cycles in women with poor ovarian response: a retrospective study of 1,825 patients

Assisted Reproduction

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VOLUME 2, ISSUE 2, P201-208, JUNE 01, 2021


Meng Wang, M.D., Lei Jia, M.S., Xiao-Lan Li, M.D., Jia-Yi Guo, B.S., Cong Fang, Ph.D., Rui Huang, Ph.D., Xiao-Yan Liang, Ph.D. 



To investigate whether the cumulative clinical pregnancy rates (CCPR) and cumulative live birth rates (CLBR) increase as the oocyte retrieval cycle increases in women with poor ovarian response.


Retrospective cohort study.


Not applicable.


Women diagnosed of poor ovarian response (POR) according to the Bologna criteria and who completed in vitro fertilization or intracytoplasmic sperm injection cycles between January 2014 and December 2018.


Not applicable.

Main Outcome Measure(s)

The conservative and optimistic estimations of CCPR and CLBR.


The conservative and optimistic estimates of CCPR peaked at the 6th complete cycle, reaching 36.44% and 71.61%, respectively. However, the conservative and optimistic estimates of CLBR peaked at the 4th complete cycle, reaching 20.22% and 38.31%, respectively. The live birth rate per complete cycle of mild stimulation protocol was comparable to other protocols after adjusting for the confounding factors. For patients ≤35 years, the live birth rate per complete cycle of progestin-primed ovarian stimulation (adjusted odds ratio = 0.51, 95% confidence interval: 0.30–0.87) and gonadotropin-releasing hormone antagonist protocol (adjusted odds ratio=0.45, 95% confidence interval: 0.24–0.81) were significantly lower than that of the mild stimulation.


It is not advisable to initiate more than four complete cycles for POR patients since CLBR do not increase after that. For POR patients ≤35 years, the live birth rate per complete cycle increased in women with mild stimulation protocol.

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.