The Luteal Phase after GnRHa Trigger-Understanding An Enigma

Kathrine Leth-Moller, Sandra Hammer Jagd, Peter Humaidan

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The luteal phase of all stimulated in vitro fertilization/intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (IVF/ICSI) cycles is disrupted, which makes luteal phase support (LPS) mandatory. The cause of the disruption is thought to be the multifollicular development achieved during ovarian stimulation which results in supraphysiological concentrations of steroids se- creted by a high number of corpora lutea during the early luteal phase. This will directly inhibit luteinizing hormone (LH) secretion by the pituitary via negative feedback at the level of the hypothalamic-pituitary axis, leading to a luteal phase defect. With the intro- duction of the gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) antagonist protocol, it became feasible to trigger final oocyte maturation and ovulation with a single bolus of GnRH agonist (GnRHa) as an alternative to human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). GnRHa trig- gering presents several advantages, including the reduction in or even elimination of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome. Despite the potential advantages of GnRHa trig- gering, previous randomized controlled trials reported a poor clinical outcome with high rates of early pregnancy losses, despite supplementation with a standard LPS in the form of progesterone and estradiol. Following these disappointing results, several studies now report a luteal phase rescue after modifications of the LPS, resulting in a reproductive outcome comparable to that seen after hCG triggering. We herein review luteal phase dif- ferences between the natural cycle, hCG trigger and GnRHa trigger and present the most recent data on handling the luteal phase after GnRHa triggering.

TidsskriftInternational Journal of Fertility and Sterility
Udgave nummer3
Sider (fra-til)227-234
StatusUdgivet - okt. 2014


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