Impact of the prostaglandin synthase-2 inhibitor celecoxib on ovulation and luteal events in women

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22 Scopus citations


Background: Ovarian prostaglandins are critical in normal ovulation processes; thus, their inhibition may provide contraceptive benefits. This study was performed to determine the effect of the cyclooxygenase-2 (COX2) inhibitor celecoxib on ovulation and luteal events in women. Study Design: The study had a randomized, double-blind, crossover design. Ovulatory, reproductive-aged women underwent ovarian ultrasound and serum hormone monitoring during four menstrual cycles (control cycle, treatment cycle 1, washout cycle, treatment cycle 2). Subjects received study drug (oral celecoxib 400 mg or placebo) either (a) once daily starting on cycle day 8 and continuing until follicle rupture or the onset of next menses if follicle rupture did not occur [pre-luteinizing hormone (LH) surge dosing] or (b) once daily beginning with the LH surge and continuing for 6 days (post-LH surge dosing). Subjects were randomly assigned to one of the above treatment schemes and received the other in the subsequent treatment cycle. The main outcomes were evidence of ovulatory and luteal dysfunction as determined by inhibited/delayed follicle rupture and reduced luteal progesterone synthesis or lifespan, respectively. Results: A total of 20 women enrolled and completed the study (Group 1=10, Group 2=10), with similar demographics between groups. Nineteen subjects exhibited normal ovulation in the control cycle (one had a blunted LH peak). In comparison to control cycles, treatment cycles resulted in a significant increase in ovulatory dysfunction [pre-LH treatment: 30% (6/20), p=.04; post-LH treatment: 25% (5/20), p=.04]. Mean peak progesterone, estradiol, and LH levels and luteal phase length did not differ significantly between control and either treatment cycle. Conclusions: Although treatment with celecoxib before or after the LH surge increases the rate of ovulatory dysfunction, most women ovulate normally. Thus, this selective COX2 inhibitor appears to be of limited usefulness as a potential emergency contraceptive.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)352-357
Number of pages6
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2013


  • COX 2 inhibitor
  • Celecoxib
  • Dysfunctional ovulation
  • Emergency contraception
  • Prostaglandin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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