U.S. Department of Defense


Date of this Version



Published in Fertility and Sterility (2011) 96(4): p. 898-904; doi:10.1016/j.fertnstert.2011.06.069


Objective: To evaluate the effect of low levels of endogenous luteinizing hormone (LH) and low-dose human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) supplementation on in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle outcomes in a gonadotropinreleasing hormone (GnRH) antagonist protocol.

Design: Retrospective study. Setting: Military medical center. Patient(s): General in vitro fertilization/embryo transfer (IVF-ET) population.

Intervention(s): Addition of low-dose urinary hCG to IVF stimulations using a recombinant follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and GnRH antagonist protocol. Main

Outcome Measure(s): Implantation and live-birth rates.

Result(s): As part of a larger cohort of 239 patients, 42 patients with LH levels ≤0.5 mIU/mL were evaluated. In the larger cohort, there were no differences in implantation and pregnancy rates between the recombinant FSH only (n = 113) and the recombinant FSH with low-dose hCG supplementation (n = 126) groups. In the FSH-only group, patients with LH levels ≤0.5 mIU/mL had decreased implantation rates (19% vs. 42%) and live-birth rates (25% vs. 54%) as compared with patients with LH levels >0.5 mIU/mL. Low LH patients in the recombinant FSH with low-dose urinary hCG group had statistically significantly higher implantation rates (54% vs. 19%) and live-birth rates (64% vs. 25%) as compared with patients with similar low LH levels in the recombinant FSH-only group.

Conclusion(s): Endogenous LH levels ≤0.5 mIU/mL after GnRH antagonist treatment are associated with statistically significantly lower implantation and pregnancy rates in recombinant FSH-only cycles. The addition of lowdose urinary hCG results in improved implantation and live-birth rates in patients with low LH levels.