Your fertility doctor may someday prescribe a vaginal ring to deliver progesterone to you during a cycle of IVF. Good news for women who prefer to avoid a needle stick! Widely used for contraception, vaginal rings may in the future also provide an alternative to daily administration of progesterone gel or progesterone injections during the luteal phase after embryo transfer.
Texas Fertility Center and Dr. Kaylen Silverberg recently spearheaded a research study that found pregnancy rates using the vaginal ring were not significantly different than those achieved with progesterone vaginal gel. The participants in the study were evaluated by both cause and duration of infertility, and the goal of the study was to compare the effectiveness of two different delivery methods for progesterone – vaginal gel and the vaginal ring.
What does the vaginal ring study mean for you, a woman undergoing fertility treatment?
Texas Fertility Center concluded that the progesterone vaginal ring is effective for luteal phase supplementation in IVF, regardless of duration or cause of infertility.
Why do you need progesterone during the luteal phase?
Progesterone, a hormone naturally produced to nourish and prepare the uterine lining to cradle a growing baby, also helps to sustain a pregnancy. During the IVF retrieval, the cells that make progesterone are removed from the ovaries along with the eggs. Fertility specialists therefore routinely prescribe progesterone after an IVF cycle to supplement the significantly reduced amount of progesterone that is produced by your ovaries after retrieval.
How does a vaginal ring work?
You insert the flexible, silicone vaginal ring once a week into (you guessed it) the vagina. The main ingredient – natural micronized progesterone – is then released slowly exactly where you need it most.
If you are starting a cycle of IVF, talk with your TFC doctor about luteal phase progesterone support, and the benefits of using a vaginal ring versus daily gel or intramuscular injections.
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