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Vaginal Ring Provides “Radically New” Drug Delivery Platform for Health Issues, Including Infertility

Austin, TX (PRWEB) June 25, 2013

Fertility medications help women produce and release eggs and fortify the uterus to sustain a pregnancy, but the delivery method can be painful. Some women endure as many as 90 shots in one cycle of fertility treatment, including intramuscular injections of a thick progesterone compound that continue throughout the first trimester of pregnancy. Texas Fertility Center and Dr. Kaylen Silverberg recently published a research study that may offer patients significant relief.

The study found that pregnancy rates using a vaginal ring (similar to one currently used as a form of birth control) were not significantly different than those achieved with either progesterone vaginal gel or intramuscular injections. Study participants were evaluated by both cause and duration of infertility, with the primary study goal being to compare the effectiveness of two different delivery methods--vaginal gel and the vaginal ring--for the fertility drug progesterone.

“We were not surprised that women preferred the vaginal ring to intramuscular injections,” Dr. Silverberg said. “In addition to the convenience of administering medication once weekly versus daily shots or daily vaginal gel, combined with the comfort factor, this radically new drug delivery method will increase the effectiveness of progesterone and decrease side effects because it bypasses the normal breakdown that occurs in the liver or in the intestine.”

Dr. Silverberg recently traveled to Jerusalem, Israel to participate in an international advisory board meeting with ObGyns and fertility specialists from around the world at Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.’s global headquarters. Teva is the manufacturer of the Milprosa™ (Progesterone) Vaginal Ring, now in clinical trials.

In independent research, Texas Fertility Center physicians concluded that the progesterone vaginal ring is effective for luteal phase supplementation in IVF, regardless of the duration or cause of infertility.

Progesterone, a hormone naturally produced to nourish and prepare the uterine lining, has a critically important role in helping to sustain pregnancy. During the in vitro fertilization process, the cells that make progesterone are removed from the ovarian follicles along with the eggs. Fertility specialists must then prescribe progesterone to supplement the significantly reduced amount of progesterone produced by a woman’s ovaries after IVF egg retrieval.

Progesterone delivered vaginally now represents over 65 percent of all IVF-related progesterone usage in the US. The multi-center study that TFC participated in demonstrated – for the first time - that the new vaginal progesterone-secreting ring works as well as the leading vaginal gel.

Comparing the New Vaginal Ring to Gels and Injections

1.    Vaginal progesterone gel: Less painful and easier to administer than injections, once or twice daily dosing, may be messy, and due to potential leakage, may not provide a full dose with every application.

2.    Progesterone vaginal ring: The flexible silicone product, inserted into the vagina, contains a micronized progesterone formulated to allow for weekly dosing. Although it occasionally caused mild discomfort, it was generally well tolerated by study participants.

3.    Progesterone injections: Administered once or twice daily. Very painful and potentially may cause injection site inflammation or infection. Serum progesterone levels are highest with intramuscular administration, but because of the uterine first pass effect, vaginal administration may result in higher uterine progesterone levels.

“The vaginal ring as a medication delivery platform represents an exciting breakthrough with staggering implications. In addition to progesterone, there is the potential for the delivery of other medications through this novel system,” Dr. Silverberg added.

About Texas Fertility Center

Texas Fertility Center (TFC), one of the nation’s leading full-service infertility practices, provides advanced Infertility and Reproductive Endocrinology services to patients throughout Texas, the Southwestern United States, and the Americas. Since 1980, TFC has been recognized nationally for outstanding pregnancy rates, cutting-edge laboratory procedures, and innovative research programs. For more information, please visit

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