For couples who find it hard to conceive, put their hopes on IVF. Diminished ovarian reserve or DOR is a common problem that is largely related to aging. As women age, their ovarian quality takes a hit and in-turn the embryo quality is also diminished.
Human growth hormone is often recommended for such women to help them recover from degrading reproductive health. As more and more doctors are recommending HGH for IVF, we take a closer look at the reality behind this recommendation.
Can HGH actually become the cherry on the baby cake, or it’s just another hyped trend?
Not much research available
We scorched through over two dozen medical journals and online publications looking for some solid evidence that links HGH with an improved rate of fertility among women. Unfortunately, the use of HGH for IVF procedure is recent and there are not many studies providing any evidence of success among trials.
Our first instinct was to ditch this post altogether in light of loss of enough evidence, but then we came across some promising findings. National Center for Biotechnology Information or NCBI has published a study on effect of growth hormone supplementation in IVF patients classified as poor-prognosis. The result came out to be positive. Here’s what the study found:
“Clinical pregnancy, live birth rates and corresponding ORs and CIs were significantly greater with GH, despite patients being significantly older with lower ovarian reserve. Patient’s age, quality of transferred embryo and GH were the only significant independent predictors of clinical pregnancy (OR: 0.90, 5.00 and 2.49, p<0.002, respectively) and live birth chance (OR: 0.91, 3.90 and 4.75, p<0.014, respectively). GH increased clinical pregnancy chance by 3.42-fold (95% CI 1.82 to 6.44, p<0.0005) and live birth chance by 6.16-fold (95% CI 2.83 to 13.39, p<0.0005) after adjustment for maternal age, antral follicle count and transferred embryo quality.”
In another study by Fertility and Sterility, it was found that-
“The addition of hGH during ovarian stimulation in bad prognosis patients improves top quality euploid blastocysts, pregnancy and implantation rates. Number of retrieved oocytes, maturity, fertilization and blastocyst rate were not different under the influence of hGH during stimulation regimen for in vitro fertilization. hGH as adjuvant in IVF cycles may represent a valid option in patients with very bad prognosis based on previously performed IVF cycles where oocyte quality may impair their chances to deliver a healthy baby by increasing oocyte quality including better chromosomal content.”
This got us going to investigate deeper and find out how much beneficial HGH is actually.
Reasons for diminished ovarian reserve
To understand how HGH pills and supplements benefit the IVF results, we need to take a closer look into what actually causes poor prognosis.
In most women fertility chances drop as they become older and start to lose HGH in their body. In some rare cases, DOR is found to occur at earlier ages. In such women, there is a lower Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH) level and a higher Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) level. This is why there is a need for large doses of ovarian stimulating fertility medications to make them respond to IVF treatment.
When the IVF treatment was invented soon it was found that some women have a less response to ovarian stimulation. This prompted reproductive endocrinologists to look for a medication that can enhance the response rate in poor responding patients. This led researchers to narrow down on four substances, which can have the desired effect:
- Adrenal hormone DHEA (de-hydro-epi-androsterone)
- Vitamin supplement Co-enzyme Q10 (CoQ10)
- HGH or human growth hormone
Many women frown when they are told to use one of these supplements along with their therapy. It may be these supplements do not have the same benefits as other IVF drugs. But they are highly important.
Let’s have a quick look at these supplements and their role in helping IVF response. Both testosterone and DHEA are potent androgens. Women produce DHEA which is converted to testosterone in various tissues. Small amount of testosterone is also produced in the ovaries that lead to the conclusion that women can have high-respond to the IVF treatment if it is supplemented with DHEA or testosterone.
CoQ10 is a vitamin-like antioxidant that is present in the mitochondria of all cells. Studies have shown that after the age of 30 the concentration of CoQ10 declines in egg cells. The studies among women had been very restricted but in older mice, the supplementation with CoQ10 has shown decreased DNA defects and misalignment as well as increased litter sizes. This has resulted in the progress of use of this supplement for IVF.
HGH for IVF
Human growth hormone is a naturally occurring amino acid that is produced by the pituitary gland present in the anterior part of the brain. Produced by the somatotroph cells this hormone is responsible for growth during the childhood as well as for maintenance of body composition. The physical health boosting effect of HGH has led its exploitation by the athletes and that is why injectable HGH is highly regulated by the FDA.
For IVF patients, it is found that use of HGH results in better response to the treatment especially among patients over the age of 40. Most researchers agree that the use of HGH in the IVF regime improves the quality of the egg, but there is no effect on the quantity.
Oral HGH Supplements
While the use of injectable HGH is best for IVF treatments, women can naturally boost their growth hormone levels by use of oral HGH supplements. These products are essentially potent amino acids that stimulate the dormant somatotroph cells to boost the natural growth hormone production.
Unlike injectable HGH, the oral HGH pills and sprays are not regulated by FDA as they are dietary supplements and you can order them online without any prescription. You can check our detailed HGH reviews to find out the best suitable product for your needs.
Human growth hormone can increase the response rate among poor responders to IVF treatment. Other than that, boosted the level of growth hormone is also found to be beneficial for the overall wellbeing of women.
If you are undergoing IVF treatment without any successful results consult your doctor about the potential of the use of other supplements that can result in better response