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Hope for women with previous miscarriages – Progesterone treatment helps to prevent miscarriage

Miscarriage is sadly a common complication of pregnancy, affecting 1 in 6 women. Some couples suffer from recurrent miscarriages. It has been shown by a new research that progesterone supplementation during pregnancy helps to prevent miscarriage in women with previous miscarriage and bleeding in early pregnancy. Results of the PRISM trial was published on the 9 May issue of New England Journal of Medicine. Total of 4153 women with early pregnancy bleeding were recruited from 48 hospitals across UK for this study. This is the largest study so far in progesterone and miscarriage.

Even though progesterone did not reduce the rate of miscarriage in those without previous miscarriage, it did reduce the rate of miscarriage in ladies with early pregnancy bleeding and previous miscarriages. Small reduction was noted in ladies with 1 or 2 previous miscarriages, but a big reduction was noted in ladies with 3 or more than 3 previous miscarriages. This research has shown a 15% uplift in live birth with progesterone treatment for ladies with 3 previous miscarriages.

Here is the summary of the findings,

  • No previous miscarriages: Live birth rate was 74% in the progesterone group and 75% in the placebo group. No benefit with progesterone
  • 1-2 previous miscarriages: Live birth rate was 76% in the progesterone group and 72% in the placebo group. Some benefit with progesterone
  • 3 or more previous miscarriages: Live birth rate was 72% in the progesterone group and 57% in the placebo group. Big benefit with progesterone
  • Any number of previous miscarriage: Live birth rate 75% in the progesterone group and 70% in the placebo group

Researchers claim that progesterone treatment could save 1000s of babies from miscarriage every year. This is really an important finding and gives new hope for couples with recurrent miscarriages.

Progesterone is a hormone secreted by the ovary in non pregnant women and by the placenta during pregnancy. Progesterone can be taken rectally, vaginally or by injections.