How long do you need to take progesterone after IVF?

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3 fertility expert(s) answered this question

Answer from: Raúl Olivares, MD

Gynaecologist, Medical Director & Owner Barcelona IVF
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For how long should be the progesterone taken is still a controversial issue. In the majority of the treatment cycles, it is recommended to continue it until the patient is 8 weeks pregnant. It is not very uncommon to continue the progesterone until the pregnancy reaches the 12th week because it is when the placenta takes over the ovaries and then it will completely safe to stop it.

However, there are clinics that advise stopping the progesterone intake as soon as the patient is pregnant because they consider that the ovaries can produce enough progesterone to support the pregnancy. However, this is a not very common stand and, as I’ve said in the beginning, in the majority of the cases it is recommended to continue at least until the patient is 8 weeks pregnant.

Answer from: Harry Karpouzis, MD, MRCOG, DIUE

Gynaecologist, Founder & Scientific Director IVF Pelargos Fertility Group
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Progesterone is a very important hormone in IVF. In a spontaneous conception after the fertilization and after implantation of a follicle, a cyst is created after the ovulation called the corpus luteum produces progesterone.

In IVF though, at the time of egg collection, all the follicles are sucked so that we can get the eggs, there is nothing to support the pregnancy. This is why we need to give additional external progesterone.

Progesterone can be given in many ways, orally, vaginally, subcutaneously, intramuscularly. A woman definitely needs to take progesterone in big doses for about 12 days – until the time that she does a pregnancy test to find out if she is pregnant or not. After that, if the woman is pregnant, we need to carry on with progesterone during pregnancy. The doses can gradually be reduced but not abruptly, and the duration of progesterone supplementation may take up to 12 weeks.

Answer from: Kristine Kempe, MD

Gynaecologist, Obstetrician, IVF Specialist EGV Clinic
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When we’re talking about medication after the embryo transfer for better response, we usually use progesterone.  We have several types of progesterone, such as an intramuscular injection, oral, or vaginal option. For better comfort for patients, usually, here in Latvia, we use more vaginal progesterone. This support is necessary during the luteal phase in the ART procedure. We don’t have as much progesterone from the corpus luteum as in a natural menstrual cycle.

About this question:

What is the progesterone role in the IVF cycles? How long and why should we take it?

Progesterone prepares the lining of the endometrium to help the embryo implant. When you’re going through IVF treatment, fertility experts prescribe progesterone starting from the time of the egg retrieval, and once you get pregnant, it is advisable to continue. For how long should you be taking progesterone after the IVF cycle? What progesterone levels should you have after IVF transfer?  Is it possible to have too much progesterone?

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