Individual Luteolysis Pattern After GnRH-agonist Trigger for Final Oocyte Maturation

PLoS One. 2017 May 1;12(5):e0176600. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0176600. eCollection 2017.


Final oocyte maturation using GnRH-agonist trigger in a GnRH-antagonist protocol is increasingly common, as ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome is almost completely avoided. However, this approach might lead to reduced pregnancy rates due to severe luteolysis. This proof of concept study evaluated the extend of luteolysis by measuring progesterone levels 48 hours after oocyte retrieval in 51 patients, who received GnRH-agonist trigger for final oocyte maturation in a GnRH-antagonist protocol due to the risk of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome. It was shown, that luteolysis after GnRHa-trigger differs greatly among patients, with progesterone levels ranging from 13.0 ng/ml to ≥ 60.0 ng/ml, 48 hours after oocyte retrieval. Significant positive correlations could be demonstrated between progesterone levels and the number of ovarian stimulation and suppression days (p = 0.006 and p = 0.002 respectively), the total amount of medication used for ovarian suppression (p = 0.015), the level of progesterone on the day of final oocyte maturation (p = 0.008) and the number of retrieved oocytes (p = 0.019). Therefore it was concluded, that luteolysis after GnRH-agonist trigger is patient-specific and also luteal phase support requires individualization. Longer stimulation duration as well as a higher level of progesterone on the day of final oocyte maturation and more retrieved oocytes will result in higher levels of progesterone 48 hours after oocyte retrieval.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Fertility Agents, Female / pharmacology*
  • Fertility Agents, Female / therapeutic use
  • Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone / agonists*
  • Hormone Antagonists / pharmacology
  • Hormone Antagonists / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Infertility, Female / metabolism
  • Infertility, Female / therapy
  • Luteal Phase / drug effects
  • Luteal Phase / metabolism
  • Luteolysis / drug effects*
  • Luteolysis / physiology
  • Oocyte Retrieval
  • Oocytes / drug effects*
  • Oocytes / physiology
  • Oogenesis / drug effects
  • Oogenesis / physiology
  • Ovulation Induction
  • Progesterone / metabolism*
  • Young Adult


  • Fertility Agents, Female
  • Hormone Antagonists
  • Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone
  • Progesterone

Grant support

The author(s) received no specific funding for this work.