IVF/ICSI outcomes between cycles with luteal estradiol (E2) pre-treatment before GnRH antagonist protocol and standard long GnRH agonist protocol: a prospective and randomized study

  • Hong Ye
  • Guo-ning Huang
  • Ping-hong Zeng
  • Li Pei



To study if luteal E2 pre-treatment before GnRH antagonist protocol improves IVF/ICSI outcomes compared with standard long GnRH agonist protocol.


A prospective, randomized and controlled study.


ART center of a state public hospital


Two hundred twenty infertile women underwent IVF/ICSI treatments.


Participants received oral Estradiol Valerate 4 mg/day preceding the IVF cycle from day 21 until day 2 of next cycle before GnRH antagonist protocol (E2 pre-treatment group n = 109) or received standard long GnRH agonist protocol as control group (n = 111).

Main outcome measure(s)

Number of oocytes collected, MII oocytes, fertilization, implantation, live birth and early pregnancy rate, and hormone profiles.


E2 pre-treatment exerted a significant suppressive effect on FSH but not LH secretion compared with basal FSH and LH levels. In E2 pre-treatment group serum LH level was significantly higher during COH and serum P was also significantly higher on the day of HCG injection compared with control group. Five patients from E2 pre-treatment group had elevated LH at all time (≥10 IU/L) and also a concomitantly high P (>1 ng/mL). Two of the five women achieved pregnancy but had early pregnancy loss. Overall, IVF/ICSI outcomes such as implantation, clinical pregnancy and live birth rates were similar between E2 pre-treatment and control groups.


Luteal E2 pre-treatment before GnRH antagonist protocol significantly increases serum LH level and incidence rate of premature LH but no significant effect is observed on implantation, clinical pregnancy, live birth and early pregnancy loss rates compared with long GnRH agonist protocol. However, more studies in large numbers of cycles are needed to confirm that increased serum LH level by E2 pre-treatment during COH has no negative effect on the IVF/ICSI outcomes.


FSH Estradiol pre-treatment Controlled ovarian hyperstimulation IVF 



The authors thank Dr. De Yi Liu from the University of Melbourne, Australia, for revising the final draft of the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hong Ye
    • 1
  • Guo-ning Huang
    • 2
  • Ping-hong Zeng
    • 2
  • Li Pei
    • 2
  1. 1.Chongqing Reproductive and Genetic Institute, Chongqing Obstetric and Gynecology HospitalChongqingChina
  2. 2.Chongqing Reproductive and Genetic Institute, Chongqing Obstetric and Gynecology HospitalChongqingChina

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