PROGNOSTIC ASSESSMENT OF FEMALE FECUNDITY
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A clomiphene citrate (CC) challenge test was used to prospectively assess future fertility potential in 51 women aged 35 or more with unexplained infertility. Baseline (day 2-3 of the menstrual cycle) and response levels (day 9-11) of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinising hormone (LH), and 17-β oestradiol were measured before and after administration of 100 mg clomiphene on days 5-9 of the menstrual cycle. Although all the women had a normal baseline FSH, 18 had an exaggerated FSH response of 26 mIU/ml or more (over 2 standard deviations above control values); this was regarded as a diminished ovarian reserve (DOR). In the DOR group mean response FSH was 38.9 mIU/ml (SD 13.8) and in 33 women with adequate ovarian reserve (AOR) it was 11.5 (4.9) mIU/ml (p<0.0001). In the DOR group 1 of 18 patients and in the AOR group 14 of 33 (42%) conceived (p<0.05). It is suggested that despite apparently normal ovulatory cycles, the DOR group has a compromised follicular apparatus. Disparity between normal oestradiol secretory capacity of the granulosa and diminished capacity to secrete inhibin could explain the inappropriately high FSH levels in response to the CC challenge. © 1987.
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