PARSIPPANY, N.J., Nov. 12 According to a nationwide surveyof 350 women conducted on the American Fertility Association (AFA) Web site,few women undergoing an Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) treatment forinfertility, such as in vitro fertilization (IVF), realize that as theyapproach the finish line comes another treatment -- progesteronesupplementation. This extra boost of progesterone, which supports embryoimplantation and early pregnancy, is extremely important for a successfulpregnancy. The survey, Progesterone Therapy: The Patient Perspective, wassupported by an educational grant from Ferring Pharmaceuticals.
"Progesterone supplementation is a rigorous process that women in ARTtreatments must undergo for up to 10 weeks to improve their chances ofpregnancy," said Pamela Madsen, AFA Executive Director. "One clear anddisturbing conclusion from the survey is that there should be far more dialogbetween patients and their doctor about this critical aspect of treatment andthe various therapy choices."
Progesterone Therapy: The Patient Perspective
Surprisingly, many patients did not know about progesterone therapy andproduct options before they started treatment. For 44 percent, their doctoror nurse did not explain progesterone therapy. Nearly all (94 percent) saidthey had no input into the selection of a product. Typically, they usewhatever the doctor recommends.
Most of the women surveyed (86 percent) were not completely satisfied withtheir progesterone treatment, and 80 percent feel there is a need for a morepatient-friendly option. Nearly all said that if they knew there was a newproduct available that was just as effective as current therapies, but morecomfortable and convenient, they would ask their doctor about it.
The majority (nearly two-thirds) used intramuscular progesterone-in-oilinjections typically given by a partner, which can be quite painful. In fact,69 percent found them painful, 61 percent experienced moderate to very severeside effects, and 71 percent said the injections were inconvenient. Typicaldescriptions were: "a painful necessary evil," "like injecting yourself withmud," and "Big needle. Shot site can get very sore and expect bruising."
The majority of women (78 percent) who used progesterone suppositoriessaid they leaked. Thirty four percent said the suppositories causedirritation and nearly half found them awkward to administer. A thirdexperienced moderate to very severe side effects.
Most women who took gels and vaginal capsules found them messy and leaky.Of the 11 percent (37 people) who used a progesterone gel, more than three-quarters experienced gel build-up, a common problem with this form. Moderateto very severe side effects occurred with 40 percent of gel users, and one inthree (28 percent) women who took progesterone capsules vaginally.
A new progesterone supplement, ENDOMETRIN(R) (progesterone) VaginalInsert, 100 mg, was recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration(FDA), giving women the first new progesterone treatment option in a decade.Developed as a more convenient, patient-friendly treatment, ENDOMETRIN tabletsare vaginally inserted with a disposable applicator two or three times daily,from the day of oocyte retrieval to about 10 weeks of pregnancy. Results ofthe largest IVF trial in the world, conducted at 25 U.S. centers in 1,211women, showed that ENDOMETRIN provides unprecedented support in the finalphase of ART treatment, based on high continuing pregnancy and live birthrates.
Research by Ferring Pharmaceuticals, manufacturer of ENDOMETRIN, foundthat what patients liked most about ENDOMETRIN is that it is easy toadminister, convenient, painless (no injection), and less messy thansuppositories. Nearly 80 percent would recommend it to a friend.
ENDOMETRIN administered as a progeste