Follicular development during the luteal phase of the human menstrual cycle

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Follicular development during the luteal phase of the human menstrual cycle. McNatty, KP et al J Clin Endocrinol Metab 1983

Dr. Daiter’s summary of this research article

Target:  antral follicles during the luteal phase of the human menstrual cycle

Goal: Determine the number, size range, health and steriodogenic activity of human antral follicles during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle.

On average, 94% of luteal phase follicles (>1 mm diameter) were atretic as assess by oocyte viability and granulosa cell number.  Healthy luteal phase follicles were not distinguishable from atretic follicles.

Conclusion: It is likely that there are a limited number of healthy human luteal phase follicles available for development.

​Dr. Daiter’s review of this research article
This 1983 article is one of the first articles suggesting that there may be follicles capable of development during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle.

This article assessed the antral luteal phase follicles for viability and concluded that over 90% of the follicles were atretic (degenerate).  However, some of the follicles were found to be viable.
This article is often cited as evidence (and inspiration) for the search to recruit viable mature luteal phase follicles by stimulating them with gonadotropins, retrieving them, fertilizing them, and cryopreserving the embryos for subsequent frozen embryo transfer.

 

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