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The dilemma of counseling patients about poor prognosis: live birth after IVF with autologous oocytes in a 43-year-old woman with FSH levels above 30 mIU/mL.


Providing reasonable expectations to patients with diminished ovarian reserve prior to attempting pregnancy through in vitro fertilization (IVF) is one of the most challenging aspects of fertility care. In some instances, advice from the clinician to pursue more effective treatment, such as donor oocytes, may not be acceptable to the patient. In this case report, a patient is presented who represents a poor prognosis candidate for IVF treatment. She was 43 years old with six prior failed IVF cycles and repetitive basal FSH values above 30 mIU/mL. Presented are the challenges in patient counseling and decision making. In her seventh IVF cycle, which she was strongly counseled against pursuing, the patient experienced the desired outcome of live birth. Increasing reports are emerging of live birth using autologous oocytes among women of advanced reproductive age. These instances, as well as the case of our patient, raise issues commonly encountered in patient counseling in poor prognosis patients. This discussion should include an emphasis on patient goals as well as an acknowledgement that no test for ovarian reserve has a 100% positive predictive value.