Investigation of luteal HCG supplementation in GnRH-agonist-triggered fresh embryo transfer cycles: a randomized controlled trial

Reprod Biomed Online. 2024 May;48(5):103415. doi: 10.1016/j.rbmo.2023.103415. Epub 2023 Sep 16.


Research question: Does splitting the human chorionic gonadotrophin (HCG) support in IVF cycles triggered by a gonadotrophin-releasing hormone agonist result in a better progesterone profile?

Design: Randomized controlled three-arm study, performed at the Fertility Clinic, Odense University Hospital, Denmark. Patients with 12-25 follicles ≥12 mm were randomized into three groups: Group 1 - ovulation triggered with 6500 IU HCG; Group 2 - ovulation triggered with 0.5 mg GnRH agonist, followed by 1500 IU HCG on the day of oocyte retrieval (OCR); and Group 3 - ovulation triggered with 0.5 mg GnRH agonist, followed by 1000 IU HCG on the day of OCR and 500 IU HCG on OCR + 5. All groups received 180 mg vaginal progesterone. Progesterone concentrations were analysed in eight blood samples from each patient.

Results: Sixty-nine patients completed the study. Baseline and laboratory data were comparable. Progesterone concentration peaked on OCR + 4 in Groups 1 and 2, and peaked on OCR + 6 in Group 3. On OCR + 6, the progesterone concentration in Group 2 was significantly lower compared with Groups 1 and 3 (P = 0.003 and P < 0.001, respectively). On OCR + 8, the progesterone concentration in Group 3 was significantly higher compared with the other groups (both P<0.001). Progesterone concentrations were significantly higher in Group 3 from OCR + 6 until OCR + 14 compared with the other groups (all P ≤ 0.003). Four patients developed ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome in Group 3.

Conclusion: Sequential HCG support after a GnRH agonist trigger provides a better progesterone concentration in the luteal phase.

Keywords: Corpus luteum; GnRH agonist trigger; HCG; IVF; Luteal phase; Progesterone.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Chorionic Gonadotropin* / administration & dosage
  • Embryo Transfer* / methods
  • Female
  • Fertilization in Vitro* / methods
  • Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone* / agonists
  • Humans
  • Luteal Phase / drug effects
  • Oocyte Retrieval
  • Ovulation Induction* / methods
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Rate
  • Progesterone* / blood