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Keywords:

  • BMI;
  • infertility;
  • IVF;
  • pregnancy;
  • progesterone;
  • VEGF

PROBLEM: To compare changes in serum vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) levels during normal and in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycles. METHOD OF STUDY: Ten healthy women with ovulatory cycles and 37 infertile women participating in an IVF program were followed by frequent serum samples and with VEGF measurements throughout their cycles. RESULTS: Serum VEGF remained unchanged during the normal menstrual cycle, whereas the IVF program participants showed elevations in serum VEGF in the luteal phase of the cycle. When data from controls and patients were pooled, redundant midluteal VEGF level correlated with progesterone and with peak follicular phase estrogen level. The midluteal VEGF level in the IVF cycles was associated with body mass index (P<0.01) and progesterone level (P<0.05) by multiple regression. The 14 women conceiving tended to have higher VEGF levels than those failing to become pregnant. CONCLUSIONS: The IVF program was associated with increased synthesis of VEGF either in the ovaries, endometrium, or at other sites and this may be of significance for the outcome of IVF.