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Sexual Absorption of Vaginal Progesterone

Information source: Carolinas Healthcare System
ClinicalTrials.gov processed this data on August 23, 2015
Link to the current ClinicalTrials.gov record.

Condition(s) targeted: Infertility; Pregnancy

Intervention: Crinone vaginal progesterone gel (Drug); Placebo vaginal gel (Drug)

Phase: Phase 4

Status: Completed

Sponsored by: Carolinas Healthcare System

Official(s) and/or principal investigator(s):
Bradley S Hurst, MD, Principal Investigator, Affiliation: Carolinas Medical Center


The purpose of this study is to determine if sexual intercourse lowers serum progesterone in women using vaginal progesterone gel (Crinoneģ), and increases serum progesterone in their male sexual partners. We hypothesize, based on previous estrogen studies done by our group, that intercourse will interfere with absorption of vaginal progesterone.

Clinical Details

Official title: Sexual Absorption of Vaginal Progesterone

Study design: Allocation: Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Bio-availability Study, Intervention Model: Crossover Assignment, Masking: Double Blind (Subject, Caregiver, Investigator), Primary Purpose: Diagnostic

Primary outcome: Male change in progesterone

Secondary outcome: Female change in progesterone

Detailed description: The effects of intercourse on the absorption of vaginal progesterone for the female user and her sexual partner have not been studied. However, a previous study performed by our group found that intercourse lowered the absorption of vaginal estrogen cream in women, and men absorbed a small but statistically significant amount of estradiol during intercourse. Vaginal progesterone gel may be used by women for several clinical indications, and if intercourse alters the absorption and distribution of vaginal progesterone, clinical outcomes may be compromised. If intercourse lowers absorption, the efficacy of the treatment could be reduced. If intercourse enhances absorption, side effects may be increased. Also, if the male sexual partner absorbs vaginal progesterone, undesirable side effects may occur.


Minimum age: 18 Years. Maximum age: 40 Years. Gender(s): Female.


Inclusion Criteria:

- Sexually active 18-40 year old heterosexual couple

- Subject willing to take Mircette birth control pills for at least one cycle (one


- Willing to have intercourse at the defined times (at least weekly within a 3 week

interval, and draw blood within 10 hours of intercourse)

- IRB signed informed consent

Exclusion Criteria:

- Undiagnosed vaginal bleeding

- Contraindication to oral contraceptives

- Liver dysfunction or disease

- Known sensitivity to Crinone

- Known or suspected malignancy of the breast or genital organs

- History of or active thrombophlebitis or thromboembolic disorders

- Use of condoms during intercourse

- Male erectile or ejaculatory dysfunction

Locations and Contacts

Carolinas Medical Center, Charlotte, North Carolina 28204, United States
Additional Information

Related publications:

Daya S, Gunby J. Luteal phase support in assisted reproduction cycles. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2004;(3):CD004830. Review. Update in: Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2008;(3):CD004830.

Yanushpolsky E, Hurwitz S, Greenberg L, Racowsky C, Hornstein M. Crinone vaginal gel is equally effective and better tolerated than intramuscular progesterone for luteal phase support in in vitro fertilization-embryo transfer cycles: a prospective randomized study. Fertil Steril. 2010 Dec;94(7):2596-9. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2010.02.033. Epub 2010 Mar 27.

Polyzos NP, Messini CI, Papanikolaou EG, Mauri D, Tzioras S, Badawy A, Messinis IE. Vaginal progesterone gel for luteal phase support in IVF/ICSI cycles: a meta-analysis. Fertil Steril. 2010 Nov;94(6):2083-7. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2009.12.058. Epub 2010 Feb 19.

Miles RA, Paulson RJ, Lobo RA, Press MF, Dahmoush L, Sauer MV. Pharmacokinetics and endometrial tissue levels of progesterone after administration by intramuscular and vaginal routes: a comparative study. Fertil Steril. 1994 Sep;62(3):485-90.

De Ziegler D, Bulletti C, De Monstier B, Jääskeläinen AS. The first uterine pass effect. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1997 Sep 26;828:291-9. Review.

Fonseca EB, Celik E, Parra M, Singh M, Nicolaides KH; Fetal Medicine Foundation Second Trimester Screening Group. Progesterone and the risk of preterm birth among women with a short cervix. N Engl J Med. 2007 Aug 2;357(5):462-9.

Cooper AJ. Progestogens in the treatment of male sex offenders: a review. Can J Psychiatry. 1986 Feb;31(1):73-9.

Cooper AJ, Sandhu S, Losztyn S, Cernovsky Z. A double-blind placebo controlled trial of medroxyprogesterone acetate and cyproterone acetate with seven pedophiles. Can J Psychiatry. 1992 Dec;37(10):687-93.

Money J. Treatment guidelines: antiandrogen and counseling of paraphilic sex offenders. J Sex Marital Ther. 1987 Fall;13(3):219-23.

Hurst BS, Jones AI, Elliot M, Marshburn PB, Matthews ML. Absorption of vaginal estrogen cream during sexual intercourse: a prospective, randomized, controlled trial. J Reprod Med. 2008 Jan;53(1):29-32.

Practice Committee of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Progesterone supplementation during the luteal phase and in early pregnancy in the treatment of infertility: an educational bulletin. Fertil Steril. 2008 Apr;89(4):789-92. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2008.02.012.

Practice Committee of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. The clinical relevance of luteal phase deficiency: a committee opinion. Fertil Steril. 2012 Nov;98(5):1112-7. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2012.06.050. Epub 2012 Jul 20.

Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Prescribing Information for Crinone. Available at: http://www.crinoneusa.com/professionals/Prescribing_Information.pdf. Retrieved April 22, 2011.

Starting date: November 2008
Last updated: August 4, 2014

Page last updated: August 23, 2015

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