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Preparation of the endometrium and timing of blastocyst transfer in modified natural cycle frozen-thawed embryo transfers (mNC-FET): a study protocol for a randomised controlled multicentre trial

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INTRODUCTION: Despite the high number of frozen embryo transfer (FET) cycles being conducted (190 000 cycles/year) in Europe, the timing of blastocyst transfer and the use of luteal phase progesterone support in modified natural cycle FET (mNC-FET) in assisted reproductive technologies are controversial. In mNC-FET, the timing of blastocyst warming and transfer is determined according to the time of implantation in a natural cycle, aiming to reach blastocyst endometrial synchronicity. However, the optimal day of blastocyst transfer following ovulation trigger is not determined. In addition, the value of luteal phase support to maintain the endometrium remains uncertain. Thus, there is a need to identify the optimal timing of blastocyst warming and transfer and the effect of luteal phase support in a randomised controlled trial design. The aim of this randomised controlled trial is to investigate if progesterone supplementation from the early luteal phase until gestational age 8 weeks is superior to no progesterone supplementation and to assess if blastocyst warming and transfer 6 days after ovulation trigger is superior to 7 days after ovulation trigger in mNC-FET with live birth rates as the primary outcome.

METHODS AND ANALYSIS: Multicentre, randomised, controlled, single-blinded trial including 604 normo-ovulatory women aged 18-41 years undergoing mNC-FET with a high-quality blastocyst originating from their first to third in vitro fertilisation/intracytoplasmic sperm injection cycle. Participants are randomised (1:1:1:1) to either luteal phase progesterone or no luteal phase progesterone and to blastocyst warming and transfer on day 6 or 7 after human chorionic gonadotropin trigger. Only single blastocyst transfers will be performed.

ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: The study is approved by the Danish Committee on Health Research Ethics (H-18025839), the Danish Medicines Agency (2018061319) and the Danish Data Protection Agency (VD-2018-381). The results of the study will be publicly disseminated.

TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: The study is registered in EudraCT (2018-002207-34) and on (NCT03795220); Pre-results.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere031811
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number12
Pages (from-to)e031811
Publication statusPublished - 2019

    Research areas

  • assisted reproductive technologies, endometrial preparation, frozen embryo transfer, progesterone, subfertility

ID: 58645652