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Contraception. 2010 Dec;82(6):526-33. doi: 10.1016/j.contraception.2010.05.015. Epub 2010 Aug 4.

Hormonal evaluation and midcycle detection of intrauterine glycodelin in women treated with levonorgestrel as in emergency contraception.

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Department of Reproductive Biology, Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Médicas y Nutrición Salvador Zubirán, Vasco de Quiroga 15, Mexico City 14000, Mexico.



The study was conducted to assess the effects of levonorgestrel (LNG) on hormonal behavior and on the secretory pattern of intrauterine glycodelin at the midcycle of ovulatory women.


Thirty healthy sterilized women with normal ovarian function were studied during one control untreated cycle and one LNG-treated cycle. In the treated cycle, each woman received two doses of 0.75 mg of LNG 12 h apart during the preovulatory phase approximately 2 days before the LH surge. Daily follicle development recordings were performed until follicle rupture was observed, and serum glycodelin, LH, estradiol, estrone and progesterone were measured as well. In addition, glycodelin concentrations were assayed in uterine flushing obtained on Days LH+1 and LH+12.


LNG did not modify follicle rupture in 20 of 30 women. In spite of ovulatory progesterone and the occurrence of follicle rupture in these women, luteal phase length was significantly decreased, as well as the serum concentrations of LH, estradiol and estrone in the periovulatory phase. Glycodelin in serum and uterine flushings was significantly elevated in the periovulatory phase when compared to control cycles.


LNG taken at the dose used in emergency contraception before the LH surge increased prematurely serum and intrauterine concentrations of glycodelin at the time of ovulation. Since there are well established glycodelin inhibitory effects upon fertilization, these results may represent an additional action of LNG in situations where the intervention did not interfere with ovulation.

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