The effect of late-follicular phase progesterone elevation on embryo ploidy and cumulative live birth rates

Reprod Biomed Online. 2021 Dec;43(6):1063-1069. doi: 10.1016/j.rbmo.2021.07.019. Epub 2021 Aug 6.


Research question: Does late-follicular phase progesterone elevation have a deleterious effect on embryo euploidy, blastocyst formation rate and cumulative live birth rates (CLBR)?

Design: A multicentre retrospective cross-sectional study including infertile patients aged 18-40 years who underwent ovarian stimulation in a gonadotrophin-releasing hormone antagonist protocol and preimplantation genetic testing for aneuploidies (PGT-A) followed by a freeze-all strategy and euploid embryo transfer between August 2017 and December 2019. The sample was stratified according to the progesterone concentrations on the day of trigger: normal (≤1.50 ng/ml) and high (>1.50 ng/ml). Moreover, sensitivity analyses were performed to determine whether different conclusions would have been drawn if different cut-offs had been adopted. The primary outcome was the embryo euploidy rate. Secondary outcomes were the blastocyst formation rate, the number of euploid blastocysts and CLBR.

Results: Overall 1495 intracytoplasmic sperm injection PGT-A cycles were analysed. Late-follicular phase progesterone elevation was associated with significantly higher late-follicular oestradiol concentrations (2847.56 ± 1091.10 versus 2240.94 ± 996.37 pg/ml, P < 0.001) and significantly more oocytes retrieved (17.67 ± 8.86 versus 12.70 ± 7.00, P < 0.001). The number of euploid embryos was significantly higher in the progesterone elevation group (2.32 ± 1.74 versus 1.86 ± 1.42, P = 0.001), whereas the blastocyst formation rate (47.1% [43.7-50.5%] versus 51.0% [49.7-52.4%]), the embryo euploidy rate (48.3% [44.9-51.7%] versus 49.1% [47.7-50.6%], the live birth rate in the first frozen embryo transfer (34.1% versus 31.1%, P = 0.427) and CLBR (38.9% versus 37.0%, P = 0.637) were not significantly different between the two groups.

Conclusions: Euploidy rate and CLBR do not significantly differ among PGT-A cycles with and without late-follicular progesterone elevation in a freeze-all approach.

Keywords: Cumulative live birth rate; Elevated progesterone; Embryo quality; Frozen embryo transfer; PGT-A.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Birth Rate*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Embryo Transfer
  • Female
  • Follicular Phase / blood*
  • Humans
  • Live Birth*
  • Ovulation Induction
  • Ploidies*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Rate
  • Progesterone / blood*
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Progesterone