Condition category
Pregnancy and Childbirth
Date applied
Date assigned
Last edited
Prospectively registered
Overall trial status
Recruitment status
No longer recruiting
Publication status

Plain English Summary

Background and study aims
Preterm labour before the ninth month of pregnancy is a major health issue which has a high incidence among IVF patients, especially twins. Progesterone is a drug which has successfully reduced preterm birth in women who conceived naturally with a single child and who have had previous preterm deliveries. It has also showed significant prolongation of pregnancy in IVF single baby pregnancies but did not show any beneficial effect on IVF twin pregnancies. This drug was tried in twins starting on the fifth month of pregnancy. We expect that if we start the drug early on in pregnancy from the third month this might have a beneficial effect and prolong pregnancy.

Who can participate?
Pregnant women aged at least 18 years with no previous history of preterm birth or uterus abnormality.

What does the study involve?
The study will have two groups of twin IVF pregnancies. The study group will receive the study drug progesterone daily from the 12th week of pregnancy in the form of rectal suppositories and the control group will receive placebo (dummy) suppositories. The patient and the treating doctor will be blinded to the drug they are taking. Only a third party will know what drug they took.

What are the possible benefits and risks of participating?
The possible benefit is that increasing the duration of progesterone treatment starting as early as the third month could have a beneficial effect in prolonging pregnancy in twin IVF pregnancies. There are no risks to the study as natural progesterone administered through the vagina has no reported side effects and if patient is receiving the placebo it has no negative effect.

Where is the study run from?
The Egyptian IVF-ET Center, Egypt.

When is the study starting and how long is it expected to run for?
The study will start in February 2014 and is expected to last for two years.

Who is funding the study?
The Egyptian IVF-ET Center (Egypt) and IBSA (Egypt) are funding the study.

Who is the main contact?
Dr Mona Aboulghar

Trial website

Contact information



Primary contact

Prof Mona Aboulghar


Contact details

The Egyptian IVF-ET Center
3 st,161 Hadayek el Maadi

Additional identifiers

EudraCT number number

Protocol/serial number


Study information

Scientific title

Double-blind, placebo-controlled, single-center randomized trial to study the effectiveness of reducing the incidence of preterm birth in IVF/ICSI twins using natural progesterone starting from the first trimester


Study hypothesis

Progesterone has proven an effective treatment for reducing the preterm birth rate and its complications in spontaneous singletons with prior history of preterm birth and those with short cervix seen at mid trimester. No effective treatment has been used for prevention of preterm birth in twin pregnancies.

The incidence of preterm birth is higher in IVF/ICSI pregnancies both singletons and twins.

A previous randomized controlled study by our group has shown a significant reduction of preterm birth rate in singleton ICSI pregnancies, however this effect could not be demonstrated in ICSI twin pregnancies.

Studies on progesterone for prevention of preterm birth who have started administration at the mid-trimester till 34 or 37 weeks no studies have been performed to check the effect of progesterone started earlier on in pregnancy from 12 weeks.

Ethics approval

Internal Ethics Committee of The Egyptian IVF Center, 15/11/2013

Study design

Randomized controlled double blinded study

Primary study design


Secondary study design

Randomised controlled trial

Trial setting


Trial type


Patient information sheet

Not available in web format, please use the contact details below to request a patient information sheet


Preterm labor and twins


Natural progesterone will be administered to the study group in the form of prontogest (IBSA Egypt) 400 mg daily through the rectal route (pessaries), starting after the first trimester scan around 12 weeks and Progesterone will continue until delivery or 37 weeks gestation. Similarly the placebo group will receive placebo pessaries to be taken daily through the rectal route starting after the first trimester scan until 37 weeks or delivery. The patient is to be blinded to the type of suppository she is receiving.

In addition all patients in study and control group will receive antimicrobial agents in the form of :
Clindamycin vaginal cream (2%) for 7 days each month starting at 12 weeks (4) and oral amoxycillin, a single dose of 3 gm once every month.

Patient is to be followed up according to the routine antenatal care protocol of our institution. Collection of data is to be done after delivery by direct contact with the patient or through the treating physician or hospital records, which should include gestational age at delivery, neonatal condition and reporting of any complications.

Intervention type



Not Applicable

Drug names

Primary outcome measure

Delivery before 37 weeks gestation

Secondary outcome measures

Neonatal outcome, including:
1. NICU admission
2. Complications of prematurity
3. Neonatal death

Overall trial start date


Overall trial end date


Reason abandoned (if study stopped)


Participant inclusion criteria

1. Healthy pregnant females in twins after IVF/ICSI with no previous history of preterm birth
2. Age > 18 years
3. Agree to be randomized at the time of the first trimester scan (12 weeks)

Participant type


Age group




Target number of participants

200 total 100 in each group

Total final enrolment


Participant exclusion criteria

1. Smokers
2. Major known fetal anomalies
3. Uterine anomalies
4. Cervical cerclage
5. Monochorionic twins

Recruitment start date


Recruitment end date



Countries of recruitment


Trial participating centre

The Egyptian IVF-ET Center

Sponsor information


The Egyptian IVF-ET Center (Egypt)

Sponsor details

3 st
161 Hadayek el Maadi

Sponsor type

Hospital/treatment centre



Funder type

Hospital/treatment centre

Funder name

The Egyptian IVF-ET Center (Egypt)

Alternative name(s)

Funding Body Type

Funding Body Subtype


Funder name

IBSA (Egypt) – free drug and placebo samples

Alternative name(s)

Funding Body Type

Funding Body Subtype


Results and Publications

Publication and dissemination plan

Not provided at time of registration

Intention to publish date

Participant level data

Not provided at time of registration

Basic results (scientific)

Publication list

2020 results in (added 11/06/2020)

Publication citations

Additional files

Editorial Notes

11/06/2020: Publication reference and total final enrolment number added. 07/12/2016: The recruitment end date has been updated from 31/12/2015 to 31/12/2017.