Sexual absorption of vaginal progesterone: A randomized control trial

Kathryn S. Merriam, Kristina A. Leake, Mollie Elliot, Michelle L. Matthews, Rebecca S. Usadi, Bradley S. Hurst

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Objective. To determine if sexual intercourse reduces absorption of vaginal progesterone gel in women and to determine if progesterone is absorbed by the male during intercourse. Study Design. Prospective, randomized, cross over, controlled study of 20 reproductive-aged women and their male sexual partners randomized to receive vaginal progesterone gel (Crinone 8% gel, Actavis Inc., USA) or placebo cream. Serum progesterone for both male and female partners were measured 10 hours after intercourse. One week later, subjects were crossed over to receive the opposite formulation. In the third week, women used progesterone gel at night and abstained from intercourse. Results. Serum progesterone was significantly reduced with vaginal progesterone gel + intercourse compared with vaginal progesterone gel + abstinence (P = 0.0075). Men absorbed significant progesterone during intercourse with a female partner using vaginal progesterone gel compared to placebo (P = 0.0008). Conclusion(s). Vaginal progesterone gel is reduced in women after intercourse which may decrease drug efficacy during luteal phase support. Because men absorb low levels of progesterone during intercourse, exposure could cause adverse effects such as decreased libido. This study is registered under Clinical Trial number NCT01959464.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number685281
JournalInternational Journal of Endocrinology
StatePublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems


Dive into the research topics of 'Sexual absorption of vaginal progesterone: A randomized control trial'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this