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01.12.2017 | Research | Ausgabe 1/2017 Open Access

Journal of Ovarian Research 1/2017

Optimal parameters for determining the LH surge in natural cycle frozen-thawed embryo transfers

Journal of Ovarian Research > Ausgabe 1/2017
Mohamad Irani, Alex Robles, Vinay Gunnala, David Reichman, Zev Rosenwaks



There is no consensus on the exact parameters that define the LH surge for natural cycle frozen-thawed embryo transfers (NC-FET). Accurately determining the LH surge would affect the timing, and subsequently the success rates, of embryo transfer. Therefore, the aim of this study was to delineate the optimal levels and relationship for luteinizing hormone (LH) and estradiol in an effort to optimally identify the LH surge in NC-FET.


It is a retrospective study that was performed in an academic medical center. Patients who underwent blastocyst NC-FET who either had preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) or were <35 years old but did not undergo PGS (non-PGS) were included in separate analyses. They were divided into two groups: Group A included patients whose LH surge was defined as the first attainment of LH ≥ 17 IU/L during the follicular phase with a ≥30% drop in estradiol levels the following day; group B encompassed patients whose LH level continued to rise and the surge was defined as the highest serum LH level occurring a day after LH ≥ 17 IU/L despite a ≥ 30% drop in estradiol levels. The main outcomes measures were implantation and live birth rates.


Four hundred-seven non-PGS and 284 PGS NC-FET were included. Among non-PGS cycles, group A was associated with significantly higher implantation rates (48.7% vs. 38.1%) and live birth rates (52.9% vs. 40.1%) compared to group B. In contrast, group A and B had comparable live birth rates among PGS cycles.


Among non-PGS cycles, measuring LH and estradiol levels the day after an LH ≥ 17 IU/L and defining the surge as the first day of LH ≥ 17 IU/L in the context of a ≥ 30% drop in estradiol the following day was associated with better NC-FET outcomes than defining the surge as the day representing the highest serum LH level despite a ≥30% drop in estradiol levels.
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