Shady Grove Fertility (SGF) presented a new study last week during the American Society for Reproductive Medicine’s (ASRM’s) 2018 Scientific Congress in Denver, CO, that demonstrated patients using fewer intramuscular progesterone injections had equivalent success from a frozen embryo transfer (FET). This new study was selected as the first study for presentation, to kick off the research portion of ASRM’s national annual meeting. In addition, the study was announced as a Scientific Congress Prize Paper Award Winner.

Patients who undergo in vitro fertilization (IVF) with a medicated frozen embryo transfer are required to take daily progesterone replacement to enable an embryo to implant and to allow the pregnancy to continue. One current standard protocol for a frozen embryo transfer is progesterone via daily intramuscular injection. While effective, published survey data have shown that these injections are associated with increased discomfort and anxiety for patients. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether patients could achieve similar live birth rates from FET, with few or even zero intramuscular progesterone injections.

“In the only large randomized controlled trial evaluating route of progesterone replacement for frozen blastocyst transfer, we investigated patient-friendlier alternatives to daily intramuscular progesterone. Unfortunately, removing the progesterone injections altogether and administering only vaginal progesterone resulted in much lower birth rates and higher pregnancy loss rates,” says Dr. Kate Devine, Director of Research at Shady Grove Fertility and first author on this study. “The great news is that patients in the study who were assigned to a protocol using fewer injections were just as likely to have a baby as those who were assigned to take an intramuscular injection every day.”

Researchers on this study found that while vaginal progesterone alone was inadequate to sustain pregnancies resulting from a programmed FET cycle, vaginal progesterone plus an intramuscular progesterone injection once every 3 days demonstrated equivalent live birth rates to daily intramuscular progesterone injection.

“We are so excited to finally have definitive randomized controlled trial data clearly demonstrating that intramuscular progesterone injections can be reduced by two-thirds while still providing our patients optimal chances of having a baby from FET. We hope and believe this effective treatment alternative will improve our patients’ quality of life while maintaining excellent outcomes, not only at SGF, but around the world,” says Jeffrey McKeeby, M.D., SGF physician and senior author on this study.

Shady Grove Fertility’s researchers and physicians provide patients access to the most up-to-date and effective treatment options to improve outcomes. The practice places high value on conducting clinical research, and is one of only a few fertility centers in the country to employ a full-time dedicated research team.

“Research remains one of the key pillars at SGF. It is, after all, the only way we can understand how to provide better treatment, improved care, and more successful results,” says Kevin S. Richter, Ph.D., Research Scientist for Shady Grove Fertility.

To learn more about ongoing research being conducted at SGF visit

About Shady Grove Fertility (SGF) 
SGF is a leading fertility and IVF center of excellence with more than 50,000 babies born and counting. With 32 locations throughout MD, PA, VA, D.C., GA, and FL, we offer patients individualized care, accept most insurance plans, and make treatment affordable through innovative financial options, including treatment guarantees. More physicians refer their patients to SGF than any other center. Call 1-888-761-1967 or visit

Ali Williams | [email protected] | 301.545.1350
Shady Grove Fertility Marketing Team