Two experiments were conducted to determine the patterns of LH secretion and to evaluate the LH responses to pulsatile administration of GnRH during early pregnancy in ewes. In experiment 1, pregnant ewes (n=16) were used to determine the concentration of LH in plasma of jugular blood samples collected every 15 min for 6h before (day 10 post-mating) and after (days 20 and 30 post-mating) implantation. In experiment 2, the pituitary LH responses to exogenous pulsatile administration of GnRH were examined on day 10 post-mating in 4 pregnant ewes. A small dose of GnRH (200 ng/ml saline) was injected (i.v.) every 3h and jugular blood samples were collected every 15 min for 12h beginning at the onset of GnRH administration and continuing through the 4th GnRH pulse. During the frequent-sample bleeding at any of the stages of pregnancy examined, LH concentrations oscillated in a pulsatile manner. However, pulsatile LH release occurred irregularly and infrequently. Overall mean LH concentrations, frequency and amplitude of LH pulses were not significantly different between any of the stages of pregnancy examined. Pulsatile administration of GnRH on day 10 post-mating induced regular pulses of LH. In conclusion, these data demonstrate that: (i) pulsatile LH secretion occurs irregularly during early pregnancy, and (ii) the absence of regular pulsatile LH release during early pregnancy is not attributed to a lack of pituitary responsiveness to GnRH.