Patients’ ideas, expectations and experience with self operated endovaginal telemonitoring: a prospective pilot study


ART, home sonography, patient reported outcomes, telemedicine, patient empowerment

Published online: Feb 16 2018

S. Verdonckt, J. Gerris

Women’s Clinic, University Hospital Ghent, De Pintelaan 185, 9000 Ghent, Belgium


Objective: To examine advantages and disadvantages as perceived by patients and their partners using home sonography for monitoring ovarian stimulation prior to artificial fertility treatment.
Method: We interviewed 25 patients and their partners and took 44 online questionnaires. All interviews were written out and the transcripts were coded, based on words patients used to describe their experience. The query consisted mostly of statements, of which the participant had to ascertain whether or not they agreed (1= I absolutely don’t agree and 5 = I absolutely agree). The median and mean of agreement scores was calculated.

Results: The time saving and practical aspect of self-operated endo-vaginal tele-monitoring (SOET) was the most important argument to choose SOET. In addition, the following aspects were considered advantages: more autonomy, no need for leave from work, a better doctor-patient relationship and sometimes more involvement of the partner. The most important disadvantage is a sense of initial insecurity couples experience during the first ultrasound. Almost all couples experience this, but they accept it as part of the process.

Conclusion: Using SOET was a pleasant experience for all couples. All patients and partners had positive expectations about SOET. The initial insecurity can be minimized, by improving teaching measures. It would be positive if a legal framework is set up allowing reimbursement of home sonography.