Purpose of review
Awaiting menses to start ovarian stimulation for oocyte/embryo cryopreservation in patients with cancer may result in a significant delay of cancer treatment that may lead to patients forgoing fertility preservation. The purpose of this review is to describe the new protocols to facilitate the start of ovarian stimulation, including random-start ovarian stimulation.
In random-start protocols, the number of total and mature oocytes retrieved, oocyte maturity rate, mature oocyte yield and fertilization rates are similar to those in conventional (early follicular phase start) protocols. Starting ovarian stimulation in the late follicular or luteal phase did not show any superiority against the other. The presence of corpus luteum or luteal phase progesterone levels did not adversely affect synchronized follicular development, number of mature oocytes retrieved, and/or fertilization rates.
Random-start ovarian stimulation provides a significant advantage by decreasing total time for the IVF cycle, and in emergent settings, ovarian stimulation can be started at a random cycle date for the purpose of fertility preservation without compromising oocyte yield and maturity.