Flurbiprofen Axetil Provides Effective Analgesia Without Changing the Pregnancy Rate in Ultrasound-Guided Transvaginal Oocyte Retrieval: A Double-Blind Randomized Controlled Trial

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Abstract

BACKGROUND:

In this prospective double-blind randomized study, we evaluated the analgesic effect and potential effect on pregnancy rate of the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug flurbiprofen axetil in patients undergoing ultrasound-guided transvaginal oocyte retrieval under propofol–remifentanil anesthesia.

METHODS:

A total of 200 patients scheduled to undergo ultrasound-guided transvaginal oocyte retrieval were randomly allocated to receive 1.5 mg/kg of flurbiprofen axetil (FA group) or placebo (control group) 30 minutes before the procedure. Postoperative pain scores, embryo implantation rate, and pregnancy rate were recorded. Neuroendocrine biomarkers and prostaglandin E2 levels in follicular fluid were tested after oocyte retrieval.

RESULTS:

Patients in the FA group awakened earlier after surgery than patients in the control group (3.3 ± 2.6 vs 5.3 ± 3.4 minutes, P < .05) and had lower pain scores than patients in the control group (2.0 [0.0, 2.8] vs 5.0 [3.0, 5.0], P< .001). The difference in pregnancy rates between the 2 groups (44%–44%) was 0% (conventional 2-sided 95% confidence interval, –13.8% to 13.8%). The lower limit of the 90% 1-sided confidence interval for this difference was −9.0%, which was within the predefined noninferiority margin of −15.0%. The concentration of prostaglandin E2 in follicular fluid was decreased in the FA group (24.51 ± 1.52 vs 25.15 ± 1.49 pg/mL, P = .039), although the difference does not appear to be clinically important.

CONCLUSIONS:

Flurbiprofen axetil given before ultrasound-guided transvaginal oocyte retrieval for patients under propofol–remifentanil general anesthesia relieves pain without any detrimental effect on clinical pregnancy rate.

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