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Results of a pilot study in the U.S. and Vietnam to assess the utility and acceptability of a multi-level pregnancy test (MLPT) for home monitoring of hCG trends after assisted reproduction

Background: To evaluate the utility and acceptability of using multi-level pregnancy tests (MLPTs) at home to monitor hCG trends following assisted reproductive technology (ART).

Methods: One hundred and four women presenting for ART at either Stanford Medicine Fertility and Reproductive Health Clinic (Stanford, CA) or Hung Vuong Hospital (Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam) participated in this pilot study. Women were asked to perform the MLPT at home, primarily on days when they were also scheduled to receive standard clinic-based serum hCG testing. These tests were administered up to 6 times over the 6-week period following embryo transfer or intrauterine insemination (IUI). Concordance of serial hCG readings for each time point was assessed by comparing trends in urine MLPT results with trends in serum hCG. Stable or increasing hCG level was interpreted as an indication of a progressing pregnancy, while a declining hCG was interpreted as a lack of established or progressing pregnancy. At study end, all participants were asked about the acceptability and convenience of using the MLPT at home for monitoring hCG trends following ART.

Results: Data from both urine and serum testing are available for 156 of 179 clinic visits (87.2%). There was high concordance of serial trend results between the two types of tests: among the 156 sets of serum and urine hCG data points, 150 (96.2%) showed a matching trend in hCG pattern and 6 (3.8%) resulted in a discordant trend. Seventy-three percent of women reported being satisfied or very satisfied with using the MLPTs at home. Almost all (96.6%) said that the MLPT was easy or very easy to use.
Conclusion: The MLPT offers women and health care providers a client-friendly diagnostic tool to detect very early pregnancy and monitor its progress.

Trial registration: This study was registered on clinicaltrials.gov as NCT01846403 (May 1, 2013), and NCT01919502 (August 5, 2013).

Access the full article at BMC Women’s Health.

  • Topic: Medical Abortion
  • Type: Staff Publications
  • Author: Shochet, T., Comstock, I. A., Ngoc, N.T.N., Westphal, L.M., Sheldon, W.R., Loc, L.T., Blum, J., Winikoff, B., Blumenthal, P.D.
  • Published: August 2017