One of the world’s most cited Obstetrics and Gynaecology researchers has presented startling findings from his latest fertility study to specialists from across South East Queensland.
Greenslopes Private Hospital hosted an evening with Professor Ben Mol, who has found women should not be discouraged from proceeding with In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) if they have received poor ovarian reserve test results.
Fertility experts have always thought greater stimulation of the ovaries leads to more eggs and therefore more chances of pregnancy. However, Professor Mol’s study of 1500 women has produced some interesting results.
The women who took part in the ovarian reserve testing research were separated into two groups: expected poor responders and expected hyper responders. Half of the poor responders were given an increased dose; the other half were not. At the same time, 50% of the hyper responders were given a lower dose, while the remainder were given a normal dose.
“We measured the outcomes and where everybody was expecting there would be a big benefit in terms of increasing the dose, we didn’t find it,’ said Professor Mol.
“Apparently you were already able to get the best egg out of it, and get the best embryo out of it.”
Professor Mol said the research suggested “ovarian reserve testing should not stop you from going into IVF.”
“So what this study shows is there is no test that actually says you’re not likely to be successful.”
Greenslopes Private Hospital fertility specialist Dr Clare Boothroyd said it was very exciting to host Professor Mol in Brisbane.
“We are so lucky to have somebody of Ben’s calibre in Australia. The thing about thought leaders is that you don’t always like what they say, but they challenge us and they take us to new paradigms of medical treatment and that’s really important,” said Dr Boothroyd.
Dr Boothroyd said the ovarian reserve test is useful as long as you know its limits.
“We’re picking up women who would, on their age alone, think that they had time to delay having their families. But in fact that test, with its limitations, can change the decision-making that that woman and her partner may make about the timing of having their family,” she said.
Professor Mol will present his findings in more detail at the Fertility Society of Australia conference on 5th of September.