A 10-year follow‐up on the practice of luteal phase support using worldwide web‐based surveys

Gon Shoham, Milton Leong, Ariel Weissman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: It has been demonstrated that luteal phase support (LPS) is crucial in filling the gap between the disappearance of exogenously administered hCG for ovulation triggering and the initiation of secretion of endogenous hCG from the implanting conceptus. LPS has a pivotal role of in establishing and maintaining in vitro fertilization (IVF) pregnancies. Over the last decade, a plethora of studies bringing new information on many aspects of LPS have been published. Due to lack of consent between researchers and a dearth of robust evidence-based guidelines, we wanted to make the leap from the bench to the bedside, what are the common LPS practices in fresh IVF cycles compared to current evidence and guidelines? How has expert opinion changed over 10 years in light of recent literature? Methods: Over a decade (2009–2019), we conducted 4 web-based surveys on a large IVF-specialist website on common LPS practices and controversies. The self-report, multiple-choice surveys quantified results by annual IVF cycles. Results: On average, 303 IVF units responded to each survey, representing, on average, 231,000 annual IVF cycles. Most respondents in 2019 initiated LPS on the day of, or the day after egg collection (48.7 % and 36.3 %, respectively). In 2018, 72 % of respondents administered LPS for 8–10 gestational weeks, while in 2019, 65 % continued LPS until 10–12 weeks. Vaginal progesterone is the predominant delivery route; its utilization rose from 64 % of cycles in 2009 to 74.1 % in 2019. Oral P use has remained negligible; a slight increase to 2.9 % in 2019 likely reflects dydrogesterone’s introduction into practice. E2 and GnRH agonists are rarely used for LPS, as is hCG alone, limited by its associated risk of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS). Conclusions: Our Assisted reproductive technology (ART)-community survey series gave us insights into physician views on using progesterone for LPS. Despite extensive research and numerous publications, evidence quality and recommendation levels are surprisingly low for most topics. Clinical guidelines use mostly low-quality evidence. There is no single accepted LPS protocol. Our study highlights the gaps between science and practice and the need for further LPS research, with an emphasis on treatment individualization.

Original languageEnglish
Article number15
JournalReproductive Biology and Endocrinology
Volume19
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2021

Keywords

  • IVF
  • Luteal phase support
  • Progesterone
  • Survey

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