The early stage of pregnancy required the presence of progesterone which is produced by the corpus luteum in the ovary to support and sustain the pregnancy until around the 12th week when the placenta is able to take over the hormone. During natural conception, patients with luteal phase deficiency or insufficient progesterone production will require progesterone to sustain the pregnancy.
Luteal support is however mandatory after In-Vitro Fertilization because of down regulation, which prevents the ovary from producing progesterone.
Luteal support usually includes the use of progesterone (oral, injectables or passive) and estradiol hormones. Luteal support starts on the day of oocyte retrieval and continue until the day of pregnancy test. If the outcome of the test is positive, luteal support continue till the 12th week of gestation. if pregnancy test is negative, the patient discontinues luteal support.
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