Follicular Fluid Hormone Profiles in Natural Cycle IVF Patients During Follicular Phase

  • N. Ellissa Baskind
  • Vinay SharmaEmail author


The follicular milieu contains multiple hormones secreted by the follicular somatic cells and is termed the follicular fluid (FF). This environment impacts oocyte maturation and ultimate viability together with various additional mediators such as cytokines and growth factors that are also under the influence of the hormones. Their relative concentrations are intricately in balance, and disruption either secondary to endocrine pathology or administration of exogenous gonadotrophins may impart deleterious effects on the developmental potential of the ensuing oocyte and embryo. Following controlled ovarian hyperstimulation (COH), elevated oestradiol (E2) and progesterone (P) levels in serum are positively correlated with the presence of mature oocytes. On the other hand, in FF, high concentration of E2 has been associated with successful fertilization, but elevated P level correlates with abnormal fertilization and cleavage. Due to these perturbations, natural cycle-in vitro fertilization (NC-IVF) has been proposed as an alternative to conventional COH-IVF in order to avoid disturbing the highly perfected synchronized hormone pathways in the follicle. This review serves to identify the hormone composition of the FF during folliculogenesis and reflects upon what may constitute an optimal environment for oocyte maturation. An added advantage of studying the FF composition of a natural follicle that results in a pregnancy (e.g. NC-IVF in healthy volunteers) is that it improves our understanding of the perturbations caused by various pathologies and their impact on oocyte’s developmental potential.


Follicular fluid IVF Natural cycle Hormone Gonadotrophin stimulation Oestradiol Progesterone Testosterone Androstenedione FSH LH AMH hCG Prolactin Growth hormone Cortisol Insulin 


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© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Leeds FertilityLeeds Teaching Hospitals NHS TrustLeedsUK

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