Saturday, November 12, 2011

Progesterone After IVF


My wife had IVF (in vitro fertilization) in Canada. She was prescribed Gonal-F, Repronex and Orgalutran for the stimulation phase. Two blastocysts were transferred at day 5 and yesterday our day-14 serum HCG pregnancy test was positive.

We were told by the nurses at the fertility center to stop taking the Prometrium pessaries now that the pregnancy test is positive. From reading, Progesterone seems to have many beneficial effect to the fetus, with minimal adverse effects. I think continuing progesterone supplements until the 10-12th wk is important. I am not sure why they want my wife to stop this!

Can you advise? A. from Canada


Hello A. from Canada,

Your research is correct. Most IVF programs, if not all, will continue the progesterone until at least 8 weeks. I continue until 10 weeks and some programs will continue until 12 weeks.

I see that your center had your wife on progesterone pessaries (suppositories). For those others reading this post, there are different forms of progesterone to choose from:
• Daily oral progesterone
• Daily intramuscular injections (IM)
• Daily vaginal pessaries. These are mounted in wax, which melts as progesterone is absorbed causing discharge. It may be necessary to wear a panty liner.
• Daily vaginal tablets
• Daily vaginal gel

There are several formulations of vaginal progesterone: Crinone 8%, Prochieve 8%, Endometrin 100mg and pharmacy formulated versions. Several very good studies have shown equal efficacy to IM injectable progesterone. However, most RE's are trained on IM Prog and so don't want to make any drastic changes. I happen to use both. If a patient cannot tolerate the IM Prog or has an allergic reaction to it, then they can switch to the vaginal version.

Bottom line: There is no harm in continuing the progesterone, but if removed prematurely, it could jeopardize the pregnancy.

Good Luck and Congratulations,

Dr. Edward J. Ramirez, M.D., FACOG
Executive Medical Director
The Fertility and Gynecology Center
Monterey Bay IVF Program


  1. I am a few days past 10 weeks with twins. I have been on crinone since the transfer. For the past 3 weeks I have been spotting. All ultrasound show two perfect babies no bleed anywhere in the pregnancy. I was told I can stop the crinone now as we do believe tht is where my issues are from. I had a cervical cone in 2008. I have ohss from the ivf cycle and multiple cysts now. The spotting is anywhere from brown when I get out
    Of bed in the am. To red crinone inside the tube after inserting a new batch. Red, pink and brown clumps come out. The maker of crinone says discharge of crinone should only be white. Any thoughts?

  2. Question, my loved one once showed a positive for hep c..But shows clear now with only the possibility of an anti-virus. In light of the fact that hep-c is now curable AND she shows negative for it's presence, is there any ligitimate concern or reason that a possible serrogate should be concerned or reject being a helper in our goal for children ?



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