Concentrations of progesterone and oestradiol were measured in peripheral plasma samples collected at the time when the uteri of rhesus monkeys with an intra-uterine device (IUD) and those without an IUD were flushed in attempts to recover uterine embryos. The proportion of successful attempts in IUD-bearing monkeys was much lower than in the non-IUD-bearing animals. Steroid measurements indicated that this reduced success rate was not due to an effect of the IUD on the timing of ovulation within the menstrual cycle or to a steroid-mediated disturbance in the rate of embryo transport to the uterine lumen. Successful embryo recoveries were associated with a higher progesterone concentration, suggesting that one reason for failure was that the attempt had been made too close to ovulation. There was no evidence of any asymmetry between the left or right ovaries in their ovulatory or steroidogenic activity.
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