Progress in treatment for patients with poor ovarian response

Personalising courses of treatment is undoubtedly currently the most important area of change in the field of medicine. A specific strategy should be designed depending on each patient’s individual characteristics.

One of the key areas for developing personalised medical healthcare is the use of pharmacogenetics. A patient needs different doses or types of pharmaceutical drugs depending on certain genetic variations. With this in mind, Instituto Bernabeu is proud to have developed a test that analyses different genetic variants and allows us to determine which patients can benefit from increased doses of medication. It also gives an indication of the most appropriate pharmaceutical drug for each type of patient.

This is particularly useful in patients who have poor ovarian response since obtaining an additional oocyte can mean the difference between success and failure. Therefore, including pharmacogenetics in the way poor ovarian response patients are treated gives us the assurance that personalised treatment strategies provide us with the best possible efficiency at a lower cost and with maximum comfort for the patient.

Another field in which huge steps forward have been made over the last few years is cryobiology. Both oocytes and embryos can be frozen with no cause for worry since they evolve entirely normally afterwards. This gives us the confidence to focus on designing strategies that champion efficiency. As demonstrated by our team, we are currently able to begin ovarian stimulation at different times during a woman’s menstrual cycle without having a negative impact on performance. We can even do two rounds of stimulation in a single cycle. This gives us the largest possible number of oocytes in the shortest possible time. Strategies such as these help us to increase the chances of success, not only in terms of achieving a pregnancy, but also in terms of having more children in the future because there is an increased chance of having stored frozen embryos.

As we have seen, constantly progressing in the use of the very latest technology whilst always practising medicine that focuses on the patient (a key element of the Instituto Bernabeu philosophy), means we can stretch the possibilities of personalised medicine and give women with poor ovarian response the assurance that we are doing everything in our hands to make her eager wish of having a family come true.

Dr Joaquín Llácer, Co-Director of Medicine. Reproductive Medicine at Instituto Bernabeu.

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