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IVF Clinical

Are systemic progesterone levels in true natural cycleeuploid frozen embryo transfers with luteal phasesupport predictive for ongoing pregnancy rates?

Accepted: May 19, 2023

Study question:
Are serum progesterone (P4) levels on the embryo transfer (ET) day predictive of ongoing pregnancy (OP) following a single euploid blastocyst transfer in a natural cycle (NC) when luteal phase support is routinely given?

Summary answer:
In single euploid frozen ETs in NC, P4 levels on ET day are not predictive for OP, when luteal phase support (LPS) is routinely added after the ET.

What is known already:
In an NC frozen embryo transfer (FET), P4 produced by the corpus luteum initiates secretory transformation of the endometrium and maintains pregnancy after implantation. There are ongoing controversies on the existence of a P4 cutoff level on the ET day, being predictive for the chance of OP as well as of the possible role of additional LPS after ET. Previous studies in NC FET cycles, evaluating and identifying P4 cutoff levels did not exclude embryo aneuploidy as a possible reason for failure.

Study design, size, duration:
This retrospective study analyzed single, euploid FET in NC, conducted in a tertiary referral IVF centre between September 2019 and June 2022, for which measurement of P4 on the day of ET and the treatment outcomes were available. Patients were only included once into the analysis. Outcome was defined as OP (ongoing clinical pregnancy with heartbeat, >12 weeks) or no-OP (not pregnant, biochemical pregnancy, early miscarriage).

Participants/materials, setting, methods:
Patients with an ovulatory cycle and a single euploid blastocyst in an NC FET cycle were included. Cycles were monitored by ultrasound and repeated measurement of serum LH, estradiol, and P4. LH surge was identified when a rise of 180% above the previous level occurred and P4 levels of ≥1.0 ng/ml were regarded as confirmation of ovulation. The ET was scheduled on the fifth day after P4 rise and vaginal micronized P4 was started on the day of ET after P4 measurement.

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