Lipoprotein(a) changes during natural menstrual cycle and ovarian stimulation with recombinant and highly purified urinary FSH

G. Ricci, G. Tamaro, R. Simeone, E. Giolo, G. Nucera, F. De Seta, S. Guaschino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This prospective, randomized, controlled study compared the effects of recombinant human FSH (r-hFSH) and highly purified urinary FSH (u-hFSH HP) on lipoprotein(a) [Lp(a)] concentrations in women undergoing ovarian stimulation. Fifty infertile women were randomly allocated into two equally sized treatment groups (n = 25 per group). Thirty normal ovulation women were recruited as controls. The infertile women received u-hFSH or r-hFSH 150 IU/day starting on cycle day 2. From cycle day 6 the dose was adjusted according to ovarian response. Human chorionic gonadotrophin 10 000 IU was administered once there was at least one follicle ≥18 mm in diameter. The luteal phase was supported with progesterone 50 mg/day for at least 15 days. Repeated measurements of Lp(a) concentrations were performed during both stimulated and natural cycles. A significant increase in luteal phase Lp(a) concentrations was detected in the stimulated cycles, whereas no significant changes in serum Lp(a) concentrations were observed during natural cycles. There were no significant differences between the urinary and recombinant FSH effects on serum Lp(a). The luteal Lp(a) increase was transitory because after 1 month Lp(a) concentrations returned to baseline values if pregnancy failed to occur; in pregnant women persistent increased Lp(a) concentrations were found at the 8th week. The percentage changes in serum Lp(a) were positively correlated with the luteal progesterone increase (r = 0.40, P <0.05), but not with follicular or luteal oestradiol increase. The women with low baseline Lp(a) (≤5 mg/dl) had a greater increase of the Lp(a) concentrations at midluteal phase than women with baseline Lp(a) >5 mg/dl. In conclusion, the recombinant or urinary hFSH administration does not directly influence Lp(a) concentrations. The luteal Lp(a) increase in stimulated cycles is not related to gonadotrophin treatment per se, but appears to be related to the high luteal progesterone concentrations, physiologically or pharmacologically determined. Our results also suggest that the sensitivity to the progesterone changes could be related to apolipoprotein(a) phenotype.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)449-456
Number of pages8
JournalHuman Reproduction
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Highly purified urinary FSH
  • Lipoprotein(a)
  • Ovarian stimulation
  • Progesterone
  • Recombinant FSH

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Reproductive Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Lipoprotein(a) changes during natural menstrual cycle and ovarian stimulation with recombinant and highly purified urinary FSH'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this