Serum progesterone at the time of human chorionic gonadotrophin does not predict pregnancy in in-vitro fertilization and embryo transfer.

M Bustillo
J J Stern
C B Coulam


Controversy exists as to whether the serum concentration of progesterone on the day of human chorionic gonadotrophin (HCG) administration following ovarian stimulation for in-vitro fertilization (IVF) and embryo transfer can be used to predict the likelihood of success. This retrospective study was undertaken to answer this question by analysing a large population of IVF and embryo transfer cycles (n = 756). In addition to the concentration of progesterone on the day of HCG administration, all variables known to impact on IVF and embryo transfer success (such as patient age), indication for IVF and embryo transfer, number of oocytes retrieved and the number of embryos generated and transferred were examined. There was a significant increase in the number of oocytes retrieved with increasing progesterone concentration at the time of HCG administration. However, there was no correlation of progesterone concentration at HCG administration with pregnancy and implantation rates. It is concluded that previous reports associating a slight elevation of progesterone in gonadotrophin-releasing hormone agonist ovarian stimulation cycles for IVF and embryo transfer may be misleading because of a small sample size or the presence of confounding variables that affect IVF and embryo transfer success.