Ovarian stimulation is key in results obtained as a results of assisted reproduction techniques. Daily clinical practice shows us that ovarian response can vary substantially from one woman to another. With this in mind, we can diagnose a patient as a poor responder when three eggs or less are obtained.
This situation affects more and more women every day. They require specialised healthcare and personalised protocols and, in response to this need, Instituto Bernabeu has a Poor Ovarian Response Unit that deals with multidisciplinary diagnosis and treatment.
For patients under this category, obtaining one or more eggs can mean the difference between failure and pregnancy and this makes any steps taken to increase the number of available eggs absolutely essential.
In our Poor Ovarian Response Unit, the patient’s genetic test is key since research shows that there are genetic variants that make women respond in different ways to the same treatment.
One of the genes that has undergone most research is the FSH receptor (rFSH), the follicle stimulating hormone that plays an essential role in the process of ovarian stimulation. In order for this hormone to carry out its job, it needs to join up with is specific receptor.
There are different genetic variants in the FSH receptor (polymorphisms) that can change their relationship to the hormone and, as a result, return different results depending on the patient. Instituto Bernabeu has several lines of ongoing research in this field and the results being obtained are promising for this group of patients.
We have been able to show that there are significant differences between the number of eggs achieved and the drugs administered depending on the patient’s receptor genotype. A greater understanding of the receptor genotype can help us to determine if a patient is a poor responder even before beginning assisted reproduction treatment and the treatment for ovarian stimulation can be determined on a personalised basis.
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