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Keywords:

  • endometrium;
  • follicular waves;
  • menstrual cycle;
  • ovary

Abstract

Objectives

Waves of ovarian follicular development during the menstrual cycle have recently been documented in our laboratory. The objective of this study was to test the hypothesis that ultrasonographically detectable changes in the endometrium during the menstrual cycle would differ between women with two vs. three waves of ovarian follicular development and among women with different major and minor wave patterns of follicle growth.

Methods

Fifty women of reproductive age (mean age ± SD, 28.0 ± 6.9 years) underwent daily transvaginal ultrasonography for one interovulatory interval (IOI). Ultrasonographic images of the endometrium were obtained each day, and measurements of endometrial area and perimeter (based on the shape of an ellipse, in the transverse plane) and thickness and pattern (in the sagittal plane) were recorded. Endometrial area, perimeter, thickness and pattern were compared between women with two and three waves of follicle development and among women with different minor and major wave patterns of follicular growth during the IOI.

Results

Endometrial area, perimeter, thickness and pattern increased earlier during the follicular phase in women with two vs. three waves of follicular development. In women with two follicle waves, endometrial area and perimeter increased earlier in those with major major vs. minor major follicle wave patterns.

Conclusions

Ultrasonographically detectable changes in the endometrium occurred in association with follicle wave dynamics in women. Earlier development of the endometrium during the follicular phase in women with two vs. three follicle waves was attributed to an earlier increase in dominant follicle estradiol production. Copyright © 2004 ISUOG. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.