What are they?
Progesterone Vaginal Suppositories (PVS) are vaginal suppositories which contain the natural hormone progesterone. They are made special by the pharmacist to contain an exact amount of progesterone as prescribed by your doctor. The progesterone is absorbed slowly from the vagina to replace or add to normal progesterone levels in the blood. Progesterone is the hormone secreted each month by the egg capsule (called the corpus luteum) after ovulation which is responsible for preparing the lining of the uterus for pregnancy or the menstrual period.
What are PVS used for?
PVS are used for the treatment of infertility due to luteal phase defects or ovulation problems and for the treatment of recurrent spontaneous miscarriages. Women treated with gonadotropins (HMG/FSH) or ART (Assisted Reproductive Technologies such as IVF or Egg Donation IVF) are also given PVS. They are also used widely for the treatment of premenstrual syndrome (PMS.)
How are PVS used?
PVS are usually prescribed to be used twice a day for a certain number of days in the second half of the menstrual cycle. Infertility patients should start them on the evening of the second day of BBT temperature rise or the evening of the third day after LH Kit surge and continue them twice daily until menses begins (not just spotting) or until you have had a negative blood pregnancy test or until ten weeks of pregnancy. If they are stopped too soon, a miscarriage could result. PMS patients should use them 2-4 times a day as directed while continuing to do careful charting.
When should I use them?
You should put the suppository high in the vagina the first thing in the morning and try to stay in bed for 10-15 minutes if possible (set your alarm early!). At night, you should put the suppository high in the vagina just before you go to sleep. If you plan to have intercourse, put the suppository in afterwards. However, it will not hurt you or your partner to have intercourse with the suppository in place and should not interrupt your sex life. You may find that it is more comfortable to wear a minipad during the day when using PVS as they will melt and create a light discharge.
Are there any side effects or complications from PVS?
PVS are one of the safest treatments available as they contain only natural progesterone. An occasional woman will complain of irritation or unpleasant discharge with PVS, but the great majority of women have no problems at all. There are no known serious side effects from PVS and there is no known risk to the baby during pregnancy. PVS have been widely used for many years and are considered very safe.
Are there any special instructions?
PVS should be kept in the refrigerator as they will melt if they get very warm. You may leave the morning suppository next to your bed overnight without problems. If you are going out of town or will run out of your prescription on a weekend, be sure to get a refill so that you can continue them if your period does not start as expected.