Taking progesterone after embryo transfer can improve your likelihood of having a baby
When you’re going through in vitro fertilization (IVF), you want to see a positive pregnancy test after your embryo transfer. However, a positive test isn’t the only goal. You and our San Antonio fertility specialist also want you to have a healthy baby nine months later. To help make this happen, Erika Munch MD may have you take progesterone after embryo transfer.
Why is taking progesterone after embryo transfer helpful?
There is a good reason that progesterone is called the “pregnancy hormone.” This hormone not only helps an embryo implant in the uterine lining (endometrium), but it also helps your body maintain a pregnancy.
Most women naturally produce progesterone in their ovaries during the first 10 weeks of pregnancy. After that, the placenta takes over the job of producing the progesterone. When a patient undergoes IVF, her body often does not produce enough of this hormone on its own.
The body may make some progesterone during a fresh IVF cycle. In contrast, the body typically doesn’t make this hormone when having a frozen embryo transfer.
Low progesterone can make it more difficult for an embryo to implant in the uterine lining. Additionally, women who have had a miscarriage tend to have a lower progesterone level. This finding suggests that a low level could lead to pregnancy loss. For these reasons, our San Antonio fertility specialist often recommends that patients take progesterone after embryo transfer.
What options are available for progesterone supplementation?
There are several ways to take this hormone to support embryo implantation as part of an IVF cycle. Dr. Munch will help you explore your options to decide which one is best for you.
- Vaginal suppositories are widely used for progesterone supplementation. Specialty pharmacies create these suppositories, which patients place into the vagina a few times each day.
- Vaginal gel with progesterone is something that patients can use once a day. The FDA has approved it for fertility patients to use until week 12 of pregnancy.
- Progesterone injections are also popular and have been used for quite some time. This method involves giving yourself a daily injection in the buttocks.
You will typically take progesterone after embryo transfer for the first eight to 10 weeks of pregnancy. Around this time, the placenta should start making progesterone to continue supporting your pregnancy.
If you have questions about how IVF can help you bring home a baby, contact us today to schedule an appointment. Our San Antonio fertility specialist has the knowledge to increase your odds of success.