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Clinically, adenomyosis is usually seen in women in their thirties but has been seen from the early twenties into the postmenopausal period. Pathologically, adenomyosis is confirmed if there are ectopic endometrial glands and stroma in the myometrium. This induces hyperplasia and hypertrophy of the adjacent smooth muscle, causing uterine enlargement. The sonographic diagnosis of fibroids has long been confused with that of adenomyosis. Leiomyomata or fibroids are common in women, with an increased incidence of 7 times in blacks and nulliparous women. In adenomyosis, the myometrium has areas of increased echogenicity that may be subtle and best appreciated with higher-resolution ultrasound scanners. The diagnosis of adenomyosis should not depend only on the sonographic appearance but must rather consider the whole picture or triad of history, sonographic features, and signs of tenderness. Adenomyosis has been suspected as cause of infertility. The treatment of adenomyosis is mainly symptomatic.
This chapter discusses the physiology of the luteal phase both in natural and stimulated cycles, with emphasis on the current evidence-based approaches for luteal phase support in assisted reproduction. Progesterone (P) and estrogen (E) are required to prepare the uterus for embryo implantation and to modulate the endometrium during the early stages of pregnancy. A meta-analysis of all available quasi randomized trials showed that the use of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists increased in vitro fertilization (IVF) pregnancy rates by 80-127 percent in women who responded normally to exogenous gonadotrophins. It was shown that the addition of a high dose of E2 to daily P supplementation significantly improved the probability of pregnancy in women treated with a long GnRH agonist protocol for controlled ovarian stimulation. Vaginal P supplementation before embryo transfer may be useful in quieting uterine contractions and thereby reducing embryo displacement.
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