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Patient experience in a randomized trial of a weekly progesterone vaginal ring versus a daily progesterone gel for luteal support after in vitro fertilization


Objective:

To assess patient experience and convenience of using progesterone vaginal ring (VR) versus vaginal gel for women requiring luteal phase support during in vitro fertilization (IVF).

Design:

Post hoc analysis of a prospective, randomized, single-blind, multicenter, phase 3 clinical trial.

Setting:

Twenty-two U.S. IVF centers.

Patient(s):

Women undergoing IVF (N = 1,297).

Intervention(s):

Randomization to weekly VR or daily gel the day after egg retrieval for up to 10 weeks, with fresh embryo transfer IVF per site-specific procedures.

Main Outcome Measure(s):

Patient satisfaction questionnaire completed at final study visit.

Result(s):

In the women who were taking ≥1 dose of either VR (n = 647) or gel (n = 650), >97% reported that learning to use the formulation, remembering to take it at the correct time, and using it as prescribed was “easy” or “somewhat easy.” More VR than gel users reported noninterference with daily activity (93.3% vs. 74.7%, P<.001), sexual comfort (80.3% vs. 67.8%, P<.001), and sexual desire (73.8% vs. 61.8%, P<.001), as well as not being bothered during sexual intercourse (66.9% vs. 39.2%, P<.001). More gel than VR users reported no difficulty with application (97.4% vs. 80.9%, P<.001). Among women who had previously used progesterone during IVF, more VR users than gel users preferred their currently assigned treatment to their previous treatment (91.4% vs. 83.0%, P=.03).

Conclusion(s):

Weekly progesterone VR and daily progesterone gel were easy to use, with limited impact on quality of life. Overall, the VR appeared to interfere less with daily life, social activities, and sexual activity although the gel was less difficult or stressful to apply.

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