Serum progesterone (P4) levels greater than 2.86 nmol/L (0.9 ng/mL) on the day of hCG administration are reportedly associated with decreased pregnancy rates in in vitro fertilization/embryo transfer (IVF/ET) cycles. To further assess this phenomenon we measured serial serum P4, LH, and estradiol levels in 115 consecutive patients undergoing stimulation for IVF/ET with midluteal leuprolide acetate and human menopausal gonadotropins. IVF/ET cycle outcome was retrospectively correlated with P4 levels on the day of hCG administration. Two critical breakpoints were identified, 1.27 nmol/L (0.4 ng/mL) and 2.86 nmol/L (0.9 ng/mL). Clinical pregnancies occurred in 9 of 18 patients in group I (P4, <1.27 nmol/L) compared to 11 of 81 patients in group II (1.27 < P4 < 2.86 nmol/L; P = 0.001) and 0 of 14 patients in group III (P4, ≤2.86 nmol/L) (P = 0.001). Eleven patients in group III had cryopreservation of embryos during that cycle. Six subsequently underwent frozen embryo transfer, and clinical pregnancies occurred in 2, both of whom have delivered. These findings demonstrate that even modest increases in serum P4 levels (>1.27 nmol/L) are associated with reduced pregnancy rates in IVF/ET cycles. In addition, it appears that the mechanism may not exclusively involve poor oocyte quality.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Biochemistry, medical