Clinical review 15: Management of ovulatory disorders with pulsatile gonadotropin-releasing hormone

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1990 Nov;71(5):1081A-1081G. doi: 10.1210/jcem-71-5-1081.


Pulsatile GnRH therapy has yet to achieve widespread acceptance as an alternative to exogenous gonadotropin therapy in women with hypothalamic amenorrhea and complete GnRH deficiency. However, when a physiologically based replacement regimen of pulsatile GnRH is used, a high rate of ovulation and conception can be anticipated in patients with complete GnRH deficiency and hypothalamic amenorrhea. Women with polycystic ovarian syndrome may also benefit from pulsatile GnRH, although rates of ovulation are lower. Pretreatment with a GnRH agonist may improve these rates considerably, but experience is limited. Whether an iv or sc route of administration is chosen, a simplified clinical monitoring protocol can be created which requires a minimum of patient monitoring while assuring maximum safety. Seventy five nanograms per kg appears to be a reasonable initiating dose, with subsequent increases in those who do not respond. The frequency of GnRH administration is best based on the GnRH pulse frequency in normal women. However, further information is needed to determine whether such a variable frequency is clearly superior to a fixed frequency regimen. When used appropriately, pulsatile GnRH is safe, effective, and offers an excellent alternative to conventional gonadotropin therapy for women with disordered endogenous GnRH secretion. Most importantly, and as opposed to exogenous gonadotropin therapy, pulsatile GnRH can be administered by most physicians in the office setting without the necessity of on-line E2 monitoring. This feature will enable more patients to receive treatment by their local physicians, whereas exogenous gonadotropin therapy should be administered by appropriately equipped referral centers. In the future, further studies will be required to determine which other categories of patients might benefit from pulsatile GnRH.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Feedback
  • Female
  • Follicular Phase / drug effects
  • Follicular Phase / physiology
  • Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone / administration & dosage
  • Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Ovarian Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Ovary / drug effects
  • Ovary / physiology
  • Ovulation Induction
  • Pituitary Gland / drug effects
  • Pituitary Gland / physiology


  • Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone