Revisiting the role of serum progesterone as a test of ovulation in eumenorrheic subfertile women: a prospective diagnostic accuracy study

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Parimala Chinta, M.S., Grace Rebekah, Ph.D., Aleyamma T. Kunjummen, M.D., D.N.B., Mohan S. Kamath, M.S., D.N.B.



To estimate the prevalence of ovulatory cycles in eumenorrheic subfertile women and compare the diagnostic accuracy of a single ultrasound with serum midluteal progesterone measurement in detecting ovulatory cycles.


Prospective diagnostic accuracy study.


University-level hospital.


A total of 208 subfertile eumenorrheic women.



Main Outcome Measure(s)

To estimate the prevalence of ovulatory cycles in eumenorrheic women and compare the diagnostic accuracy of a single, well-timed ultrasound scan (index test) with serum progesterone measurement (reference test) by calculating the sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), negative predictive value (NPV), and positive likelihood ratio (LR+) and negative likelihood ratio (LR–).


The prevalence of ovulatory cycles among subfertile eumenorrheic women was 92.9% and 99.5% when midluteal serum progesterone level and ultrasound scanning were used as the reference test, respectively. The sensitivity, specificity, PPV, and NPV of ultrasound in identifying ovulatory cycles were 100%, 7.1%, 93.4%, and 100%, respectively. The LR+ and LR− were 1.1 and 0, respectively. The agreement between the ultrasound and serum progesterone was almost perfect (prevalence and bias-adjusted kappa = 0.81.


The prevalence of ovulatory cycles in eumenorrheic subfertile women appears to be high. A single well-timed ultrasound can be performed to identify ovulatory cycles during the infertility workup in eumenorrheic women.

Fertility and Sterility

Editorial Office, American Society for Reproductive Medicine

Fertility and Sterility® is an international journal for obstetricians, gynecologists, reproductive endocrinologists, urologists, basic scientists and others who treat and investigate problems of infertility and human reproductive disorders. The journal publishes juried original scientific articles in clinical and laboratory research relevant to reproductive endocrinology, urology, andrology, physiology, immunology, genetics, contraception, and menopause. Fertility and Sterility® encourages and supports meaningful basic and clinical research, and facilitates and promotes excellence in professional education, in the field of reproductive medicine.

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