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BACKGROUND: Gonadotrophin releasing hormone (GnRH) analogues are widely used in IVF programmes as a method of suppressing the luteinizing hormone (LH) surge prior to ovarian stimulation, but their roles outside the pituitary remain relatively unknown. A 2002 Cochrane review (Al-Inany et al. Gonadotrophin-releasing hormone antagonists for assisted conception. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2006;3:CD001750) described lower pregnancy rates in women administered with GnRH antagonist, compared with those using an agonist, as part of an IVF programme, despite the fact that GnRH antagonist is a more effective repressor of LH. This study aimed to analyse the in-vitro effects of GnRH analogues on the decidualizing endometrium, blastocyst invasion and GnRH receptor expression in fertile women. METHODS: We analysed the in-vitro decidualization capacity of endometrial stromal cells, derived from fertile women during the implantation window, in the presence of GnRH analogues. The influence of GnRH analogues on GnRH receptor expression and blastocyst invasion was assessed by in-vitro assays of biomedical marker secretion, immunoblots and blastocyst attachment to the stromal extracellular matrix. RESULTS: We demonstrate that, at the concentrations and time periods used, GnRH analogues did not significantly influence the extent of decidualization of endometrial stromal cells. In addition, no adverse effect of GnRH analogues was seen on human blastocyst invasion. CONCLUSIONS: We suggest that GnRH analogues affect neither the capacity of the endometrium to support invasion nor the invasive potential of the blastocyst in the early stages of implantation.

Original publication




Journal article


Hum Reprod

Publication Date





2187 - 2192


Adult, Buserelin, Decidua, Embryo Implantation, Endometrium, Female, Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone, Humans, Ovulation Induction, Receptors, LHRH, Stromal Cells