How is a poor responder diagnosed?
An inadequate response to fertility treatments such as in-vitro fertilization (IVF) can typically be discovered after undergoing the procedure. In some cases, doctors may be able to identify fertility issues through ovarian reserve testing. A fertility specialist can check FSH levels, as well as perform a clomiphene challenge test, ultrasound, or blood test to check for problems.
Low ovarian reserve
A poor response to IVF stimulation, for instance, can be caused by a variety of factors including a small dose of ovarian stimulation, the type of ovarian stimulation used, ineffective injection techniques, and even obesity. As women age, the ability of ovaries to produce high-quality eggs diminishes. Women with special ovarian needs require a personalized protocol to improve response.
When clomiphene doesn’t work
Clomiphene is one of the most common fertility drugs used to induce ovulation in women who need help producing eggs. Women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) have a harder time responding to clomiphene treatment. When multiple cycles of clomiphene treatment don’t work, a fertility specialist may recommend estrogen supplements to improve the thickness of the uterine lining. Other medications can also be used for insulin management and can lower blood glucose levels.
Further assistance needed
When drugs alone aren’t working, assisted reproductive technology (ART) treatments such as intrauterine insemination (IUI) and IVF can be used with fertility drugs. IUI inserts the sperm directly into the uterus cavity using a catheter. During IVF, the eggs are extracted from the ovaries using a long and thin needle, fertilized with sperm in a laboratory, and inserted back into the uterus.
Finding the right treatment option
Poor responders can consult a fertility specialist to determine a woman’s hormone levels and identify any other abnormalities in the reproductive system. A doctor may recommend everything from altering the dose of medication to using ART to improve the chance for conception drastically. Everyone will have a different diagnosis and personalized treatment plan to induce ovulation and development of eggs. For more information, consult a fertility specialist.