Summary. Five normally ovulating women were induced to superovulate with pulsatile 'pure' FSH (28 i.u. every 3 h by a s.c. pump), and another 5 women were given an i.m. injection of 10 mg oestradiol benzoate in the late follicular phase. Serum oestradiol concentrations in the luteal phase were similar in both groups and significantly higher than in corresponding control cycles. The luteal phase was of shorter duration in the FSH (11·2 ± 0·7 days) than in the control (13·4 ± 0·2 days) and the oestrogen-treatment cycles (13·4 ± 0·7 days) (P < 0·05, mean ± s.e.m.). FSH cycles had significantly lower early luteal serum LH (Day 1:5·3 ± 1·5 mi.u./ml) and mid-luteal serum progesterone values (35·4 ± 3·5 nmol/l) compared with the control (27·8 ± 5·8 mi.u./ml and 65·4 ± 5·7 nmol/l, respectively) and oestrogen treatment cycles (25·3 ± 8·3mi.u./ml and 59·1 ± 8·4nmol/l, respectively) (P < 0·05, mean ± s.e.m.). These results suggest that, in hyperstimulated cycles, the luteal phase can be disrupted even without follicle aspiration, and that suppression of endogenous LH secretion may be responsible.
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