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1.  The OPTIMIST study: optimisation of cost effectiveness through individualised FSH stimulation dosages for IVF treatment. A randomised controlled trial 
BMC Women's Health  2012;12:29.
Costs of in vitro fertilisation (IVF) are high, which is partly due to the use of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). FSH is usually administered in a standard dose. However, due to differences in ovarian reserve between women, ovarian response also differs with potential negative consequences on pregnancy rates. A Markov decision-analytic model showed that FSH dose individualisation according to ovarian reserve is likely to be cost-effective in women who are eligible for IVF. However, this has never been confirmed in a large randomised controlled trial (RCT). The aim of the present study is to assess whether an individualised FSH dose regime based on an ovarian reserve test (ORT) is more cost-effective than a standard dose regime.
Multicentre RCT in subfertile women indicated for a first IVF or intracytoplasmic sperm injection cycle, who are aged < 44 years, have a regular menstrual cycle and no major abnormalities at transvaginal sonography. Women with polycystic ovary syndrome, endocrine or metabolic abnormalities and women undergoing IVF with oocyte donation, will not be included. Ovarian reserve will be assessed by measuring the antral follicle count. Women with a predicted poor response or hyperresponse will be randomised for a standard versus an individualised FSH regime (150 IU/day, 225-450 IU/day and 100 IU/day, respectively). Participants will undergo a maximum of three stimulation cycles during maximally 18 months. The primary study outcome is the cumulative ongoing pregnancy rate resulting in live birth achieved within 18 months after randomisation. Secondary outcomes are parameters for ovarian response, multiple pregnancies, number of cycles needed per live birth, total IU of FSH per stimulation cycle, and costs. All data will be analysed according to the intention-to-treat principle. Cost-effectiveness analysis will be performed to assess whether the health and associated economic benefits of individualised treatment of subfertile women outweigh the additional costs of an ORT.
The results of this study will be integrated into a decision model that compares cost-effectiveness of the three dose-adjustment strategies to a standard dose strategy. The study outcomes will provide scientific foundation for national and international guidelines.
Trial registration
PMCID: PMC3460731  PMID: 22989359
Ovarian reserve; Antral follicle count; IVF; Individualised FSH stimulation dosages; Live birth rate
2.  The inSIGHT study: costs and effects of routine hysteroscopy prior to a first IVF treatment cycle. A randomised controlled trial 
BMC Women's Health  2012;12:22.
In in vitro fertilization (IVF) and intracytoplasmatic sperm injection (ICSI) treatment a large drop is present between embryo transfer and occurrence of pregnancy. The implantation rate per embryo transferred is only 30%. Studies have shown that minor intrauterine abnormalities can be found in 11–45% of infertile women with a normal transvaginal sonography or hysterosalpingography. Two randomised controlled trials have indicated that detection and treatment of these abnormalities by office hysteroscopy after two failed IVF cycles leads to a 9–13% increase in pregnancy rate. Therefore, screening of all infertile women for intracavitary pathology prior to the start of IVF/ICSI is increasingly advocated. In absence of a scientific basis for such a policy, this study will assess the effects and costs of screening for and treatment of unsuspected intrauterine abnormalities by routine office hysteroscopy, with or without saline infusion sonography (SIS), prior to a first IVF/ICSI cycle.
Multicenter randomised controlled trial in asymptomatic subfertile women, indicated for a first IVF/ICSI treatment cycle, with normal findings at transvaginal sonography. Women with recurrent miscarriages, prior hysteroscopy treatment and intermenstrual blood loss will not be included. Participants will be randomised for a routine fertility work-up with additional (SIS and) hysteroscopy with on-the-spot-treatment of predefined intrauterine abnormalities versus the regular fertility work-up without additional diagnostic tests. The primary study outcome is the cumulative ongoing pregnancy rate resulting in live birth achieved within 18 months of IVF/ICSI treatment after randomisation. Secondary study outcome parameters are the cumulative implantation rate; cumulative miscarriage rate; patient preference and patient tolerance of a SIS and hysteroscopy procedure. All data will be analysed according to the intention-to-treat principle, using univariate and multivariate logistic regression and cox regression. Cost-effectiveness analysis will be performed to evaluate the costs of the additional tests as routine procedure. In total 700 patients will be included in this study.
The results of this study will help to clarify the significance of hysteroscopy prior to IVF treatment.
Trial registration
PMCID: PMC3434069  PMID: 22873367
Hysteroscopy; Subfertility; IVF
3.  The LIFESTYLE study: costs and effects of a structured lifestyle program in overweight and obese subfertile women to reduce the need for fertility treatment and improve reproductive outcome. A randomised controlled trial 
BMC Women's Health  2010;10:22.
In the Netherlands, 30% of subfertile women are overweight or obese, and at present there is no agreement on fertility care for them. Data from observational and small intervention studies suggest that reduction of weight will increase the chances of conception, decrease pregnancy complications and improve perinatal outcome, but this has not been confirmed in randomised controlled trials. This study will assess the cost and effects of a six-months structured lifestyle program aiming at weight reduction followed by conventional fertility care (intervention group) as compared to conventional fertility care only (control group) in overweight and obese subfertile women. We hypothesize that the intervention will decrease the need for fertility treatment, diminish overweight-related pregnancy complications, and will improve perinatal outcome.
Multicenter randomised controlled trial in subfertile women (age 18-39 year) with a body mass index between 29 and 40 kg/m2. Exclusion criteria are azoospermia, use of donor semen, severe endometriosis, premature ovarian failure, endocrinopathies or pre-existent hypertensive disorders.
In the intervention group the aim is a weight loss of at least 5% to10% in a six-month period, to be achieved by the combination of a diet, increase of physical activity and behavioural modification. After six months, in case no conception has been achieved, these patients will start fertility treatment according to the Dutch fertility guidelines. In the control group treatment will be started according to Dutch fertility guidelines, independently of the patient's weight.
Outcome measures and analysis
The primary outcome measure is a healthy singleton born after at least 37 weeks of gestation after vaginal delivery. Secondary outcome parameters including pregnancy outcome and complications, percentage of women needing fertility treatment, clinical and ongoing pregnancy rates, body weight, quality of life and costs.
Data will be analysed according to the intention to treat principle, and cost-effectiveness analysis will be performed to compare the costs and health effects in the intervention and control group.
The trial will provide evidence for costs and effects of a lifestyle intervention aiming at weight reduction in overweight and obese subfertile women and will offer guidance to clinicians for the treatment of these patients.
Trial registration
Dutch Trial Register NTR1530
PMCID: PMC2907305  PMID: 20579357

Results 1-3 (3)