Characteristics of luteinizing hormone secretion in younger versus older premenopausal women

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1998 Mar;178(3):504-10. doi: 10.1016/s0002-9378(98)70429-6.


Objectives: The objectives of this study were to document specific attributes of pulsatile luteinizing hormone secretion in middle-aged women before discernible alterations in their menstrual cycles and to compare the results to corresponding data obtained in younger women.

Study design: After documenting normal cycle length, biphasic basal body temperatures, and normal midluteal progesterone in younger and middle-aged women during an initial cycle, daily blood samples and samples withdrawn at 10-minute intervals for 8 hours during the midfollicular phase were obtained during a subsequent cycle.

Results: Assessment of luteinizing hormone pulses with the pulse detection algorithm Cluster demonstrated a prolonged interpulse interval and increased pulse width in the older women. Assessment of luteinizing hormone secretory bursts and half-life with the deconvolution analysis procedure demonstrated a prolonged interburst interval and half-life in the older women. Appraisal of approximate entropy revealed greater orderliness of luteinizing hormone release in the older women.

Conclusions: Middle-aged women exhibit alterations in hypothalamic-pituitary function that may account in part for age-related changes in reproductive potential.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Female
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone / blood
  • Humans
  • Luteinizing Hormone / blood
  • Luteinizing Hormone / metabolism*
  • Middle Aged
  • Premenopause / physiology*
  • Progesterone / blood


  • Progesterone
  • Luteinizing Hormone
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone