Fertility: Review

GnRH Agonist Triggering of Ovulation Replacing hCG: A 30-Year-Old Revolution in IVF Practice Led by Rambam Health Care Campus

Shahar Kol and Ofer Fainaru


Final oocyte maturation is a crucial step in in vitro fertilization, traditionally achieved with a single bolus of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) given 36 hours before oocyte retrieval. This bolus exposes the patient to the risks of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS), particularly in the face of ovarian hyper-response to gonadotropins. Although multiple measures were developed to prevent OHSS, gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonist triggering is now globally recognized as the best approach to achieve this goal. The first report on the use of GnRH agonist as ovulation trigger in the context of OHSS prevention came from the Rambam Health Care Campus, Haifa, Israel and appeared in 1988. This review details the events that culminated in worldwide acceptance of this measure and describes its benefit in the field of assisted reproductive technology.

Rambam Maimonides Med J 2017;8(2):e0023