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1.  The M-OVIN study: does switching treatment to FSH and / or IUI lead to higher pregnancy rates in a subset of women with world health organization type II anovulation not conceiving after six ovulatory cycles with clomiphene citrate – a randomised controlled trial 
BMC Women's Health  2013;13:42.
Clomiphene citrate (CC) is first line treatment in women with World Health Organization (WHO) type II anovulation and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Whereas 60% to 85% of these women will ovulate on CC, only about one half will have conceived after six cycles. If women do not conceive, treatment can be continued with gonadotropins or intra-uterine insemination (IUI). At present, it is unclear for how many cycles ovulation induction with CC should be repeated, and when to switch to ovulation induction with gonadotropins and/or IUI.
We started a multicenter randomised controlled trial in the Netherlands comparing six cycles of CC plus intercourse or six cycles of gonadotrophins plus intercourse or six cycles of CC plus IUI or six cycles of gonadotrophins plus IUI.
Women with WHO type II anovulation who ovulate but did not conceive after six ovulatory cycles of CC with a maximum of 150 mg daily for five days will be included.
Our primary outcome is birth of a healthy child resulting from a pregnancy that was established in the first eight months after randomisation. Secondary outcomes are clinical pregnancy, miscarriage, multiple pregnancy and treatment costs. The analysis will be performed according to the intention to treat principle. Two comparisons will be made, one in which CC is compared to gonadotrophins and one in which the addition of IUI is compared to ovulation induction only. Assuming a live birth rate of 40% after CC, 55% after addition of IUI and 55% after ovulation induction with gonadotrophins, with an alpha of 5% and a power of 80%, we need to recruit 200 women per arm (800 women in total).
An independent Data and Safety Monitoring Committee has criticized the data of the first 150 women and concluded that a sample size re-estimation should be performed after including 320 patients (i.e. 80 per arm).
The trial will provide evidence on the most effective, safest and most cost effective treatment in women with WHO type II anovulation who do not conceive after six ovulatory cycles with CC with a maximum of 150 mg daily for five days. This evidence could imply the need for changing our guidelines, which may cause a shift in large practice variation to evidence based primary treatment for these women.
Trial registration number
Netherlands Trial register NTR1449
PMCID: PMC3828011  PMID: 24160333
2.  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
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
4.  The INeS study: prevention of multiple pregnancies: a randomised controlled trial comparing IUI COH versus IVF e SET versus MNC IVF in couples with unexplained or mild male subfertility 
BMC Women's Health  2009;9:35.
Multiple pregnancies are high risk pregnancies with higher chances of maternal and neonatal mortality and morbidity. In the past decades the number of multiple pregnancies has increased. This trend is partly due to the fact that women start family planning at an increased age, but also due to the increased use of ART.
Couples with unexplained or mild male subfertility generally receive intrauterine insemination IUI with controlled hormonal stimulation (IUI COH). The cumulative pregnancy rate is 40%, with a 10% multiple pregnancy rate.
This study aims to reveal whether alternative treatments such as IVF elective Single Embryo Transfer (IVF e SET) or Modified Natural Cycle IVF (MNC IVF) can reduce the number of multiple pregnancy rates, but uphold similar pregnancy rates as IUI COH in couples with mild male or unexplained subfertility. Secondly, the aim is to perform a cost effective analyses and assess treatment preference of these couples.
We plan a multicentre randomised controlled clinical trial in the Netherlands comparing six cycles of intra-uterine insemination with controlled ovarian hyperstimulation or six cycles of Modified Natural Cycle (MNC) IVF or three cycles with IVF-elective Single Embryo Transfer (eSET) plus cryo-cycles within a time frame of 12 months.
Couples with unexplained subfertility or mild male subfertility and a poor prognosis for treatment independent pregnancy will be included. Women with anovulatory cycles, severe endometriosis, double sided tubal pathology or serious endocrine illness will be excluded.
Our primary outcome is the birth of a healthy singleton. Secondary outcomes are multiple pregnancy, treatment costs, and patient experiences in each treatment arm. The analysis will be performed according tot the intention to treat principle. We will test for non-inferiority of the three arms with respect to live birth. As we accept a 12.5% loss in pregnancy rate in one of the two IVF arms to prevent multiple pregnancies, we need 200 couples per arm (600 couples in total).
Determining the safest and most cost-effective treatment will ensure optimal chances of pregnancy for subfertile couples with substantially diminished perinatal and maternal complications. Should patients find the most cost-effective treatment acceptable or even preferable, this could imply the need for a world wide shift in the primary treatment.
Trial registration
Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN 52843371
PMCID: PMC2804565  PMID: 20021654
5.  The ESEP study: Salpingostomy versus salpingectomy for tubal ectopic pregnancy; The impact on future fertility: A randomised controlled trial 
BMC Women's Health  2008;8:11.
For most tubal ectopic pregnancies (EP) surgery is the treatment of first choice. Whether surgical treatment should be performed conservatively (salpingostomy) or radically (salpingectomy) in women wishing to preserve their reproductive capacity, is subject to debate. Salpingostomy preserves the tube, but bears the risks of both persistent trophoblast and repeat ipsilateral tubal EP. Salpingectomy, avoids these risks, but leaves only one tube for reproductive capacity. This study aims to reveal the trade-off between both surgical options: whether the potential advantage of salpingostomy, i.e. a better fertility prognosis as compared to salpingectomy, outweighs the potential disadvantages, i.e. persistent trophoblast and an increased risk for a repeat EP.
International multi centre randomised controlled trial comparing salpingostomy versus salpingectomy in women with a tubal EP without contra lateral tubal pathology. Hemodynamically stable women with a presumptive diagnosis of tubal EP, scheduled for surgery, are eligible for inclusion. Patients pregnant after in vitro fertilisation (IVF) and/or known documented tubal pathology are excluded. At surgery, a tubal EP must be confirmed. Only women with a tubal EP amenable to both interventions and a healthy contra lateral tube are included. Salpingostomy and salpingectomy are performed according to standard procedures of participating hospitals. Up to 36 months after surgery, women will be contacted to assess their fertility status at six months intervals starting form the day of the operation.
The primary outcome measure is the occurrence of spontaneous viable intra uterine pregnancy. Secondary outcome measures are persistent trophoblast, repeat EP, all pregnancies including those resulting from IVF and financial costs. The analysis will be performed according to the intention to treat principle. A cost-effectiveness analysis will be performed within a decision analysis framework, based on costs per live birth, including IVF treatment whenever a spontaneous pregnancy does not occur. Patients' preferences will be assessed using a discrete choice experiment.
This trial will provide evidence on the trade off between salpingostomy and salpingectomy for tubal EP in view of the pros and cons of both interventions and will offer guidance to clinicians in making the right treatment choice.
Trial registration
Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN37002267
PMCID: PMC2464580  PMID: 18582372

Results 1-5 (5)