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Fertil Steril. 1981 Nov;36(5):606-9.

Pituitary-ovarian function after tubal ligation.


Pituitary-ovarian function was evaluated by measurement of daily serum levels of luteinizing hormone (LH), 17 beta-estradiol, and progesterone in women with a previous history of tubal ligation. Normally menstruating women served as controls. The duration of the proliferative and luteal phase was similar for both groups. The midluteal progesterone level averages did not differ between the two groups. Preovulatory LH and 17 beta-estradiol peaks were significantly lower in the tubal ligation group; average midluteal LH and 17 beta-estradiol levels were also lower. These results reveal that pituitary-ovarian function can be altered following surgical sterilization.


Menstrual disorders have been reported following tubal surgery. This study investigates luteinizing hormone (LH), 17beta-estradiol, and progesterone levels in 30 women (age range, 24-38 years; average age, 32 years), who had had elective tubal ligation for fertility control. Elective surgical sterilization was performed between 1 month and 8 years previously. The controls consisted of 15 normally menstruating women (aged 20-32 years; average age, 24), seeking to become pregnant who had not used either oral contraceptives or IUDs for at least 1 month before the study. Daily blood samples were collected starting from day 10 of the menstrual cycle until the onset of the next menstruation. Case selection and specimen collections were done in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Hormone determinations by radioimmunoassays were done on a double-blind basis at the Population Council in New York. Progesterone and 17-b estradiol were determined by radioimmunoassay according to the method of Thorneycroft and Stone, while human luteinizing hormone (hLH) was measured by the double antibody technique of Vaitukaitis Average duration of the proliferative and luteal phase were 14.4 + or - 3.0 and 13.3 + or - 2.9 days, respectively, for the control group and 13.5 and 2.4 and 14.2 + or - 1.7 days for the women with tubal ligation. The total length of the cycle, 27.7 days, is the same for both groups. The midluteal progesterone level averages did not differ between the 2 groups, although when the controls were compared with tubal ligated women 30 years of age or younger, the difference was significant. Preovulatory LH and 17beta-estradiol peaks were significantly lower in the tubal ligation group, as were the average midluteal LH and 17beta-estradiol levels. These results suggest that surgical sterilization can result in subtle changes in ovarian function, even though ovulation itself is not affected. Bleeding irregularities following tubal ligation may in part be due to the fact that different surgical procedures may have different effects on ovarian blood supply. Further research should be done to compare specific effects of different sterilization procedures on ovarian function.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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