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Question 61. I had an allergic reaction to the progesterone in oil shots. Does this mean that I cannot do IVF?

Posted Feb 03 2012 2:11pm
We often have drug reps in the office at lunchtime. As there are only really 4 companies that make pharmaceuticals that are used in fertility we get to know the reps pretty well. This past week we were speaking with a couple of reps about vaginal progesterone in lieu of PIO. The data is very good regarding success with vaginal progesterone but honestly some patients just prefer the shots because the suppositories are so messy.

Both Endometrin and Crinone may prove less annoying to patients who want a shot-free 2ww but these products are also more expensive. I advise the husbands that they do NOT have a vote in this decision unless they are willing to take IM injections themselves. Just because I am driving a new car with the vanity plates CR1NONE should not be taken as evidence that my support of a product is based on anything except a careful review of the medical literature. But seriously, I really do not believe that most doctors are swayed to prescribe a drug just because they got a free pen or because the drug rep is a former cheerleader (although in fact, most drug companies do advertise in Cheerleader magazine according to this NY Times article ).

So as we head into a beautiful weekend here in Washington DC here is the latest excerpt from 100 Questions and Answers about Infertility....

61. I had an allergic reaction to the progesterone in oil shots. Does this mean that I cannot do IVF?

Following follicle aspiration, most clinics place patients on progesterone supplementation. The rationale behind the supplemental progesterone is that following egg collection, ovarian hormone production may be impaired because many of the hormone-producing cells are removed at the time of follicle aspiration. In addition, the use of GnRH agonists such as Lupron may diminish ovarian steroid production following egg collection. Progesterone supplementation has evolved over the years to include patients undergoing both stimulated IUI cycles and IVF.

Although many clinics tend to use progesterone-in-oil injections, equivalent pregnancy rates have been reported in patients using only vaginal progesterone supplementation. Allergic reactions to progesterone are infrequent, but switching patients to vaginal progesterone usually resolves the problem.
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