Progesterone had no effect on the rate of miscarriages
(Mirror Daily, United States) – A group of researchers recently found that, sadly, progesterone might not help against a potential miscarriage for women who have a history of pregnancy loss. It has been long boasted and promoted as a means to greatly improve chances of delivering the baby to full term and in good health.
However, the results showed otherwise.
Researchers at the University of Birmingham conducted a study on 826 women, between the ages of 18 and 39 trying to conceive a child. Each participant had a history of miscarriages. The prospective mothers were split in two groups, with half of them receiving 400 milligrams of vaginal progesterone, and the other half placebo until the 12th week of their pregnancy.
According to lead author of the study and professor of gynecology, Dr. Arri Coomarasamy, after over 60 years of debate, their results have shown that progesterone treatment virtually has no benefit by being given within the first trimester.
In fact, by the end of the study, 65.8% of the women on progesterone delivered their child full term, and 63.3% of those on the placebo. The 2.5% difference is essentially insignificant to the statistics, and could be attributed to plain chance. The results arrived to the disappointment of the researchers, who were hoping to see that treatment may help with a problem that many couples face.
According to the March of Dimes, between 10 to 15% of pregnancies sadly end in miscarriages. This often happens within the first trimester (before 13 weeks of gestation), and the causes are largely unknown.
Chromosome problems are suggested to be at fault for around 50% of their rates, but the rest are largely unknown. However, they have been attributed to certain lifestyle issues, such as smoking, alcohol or drug abuse, and including conditions like diabetes, lupus or other autoimmune diseases.
Disappointingly, the researchers were unable to prove that progesterone use aids against the tragic problem.
In spite of these findings, Dr. Edward McCabe, who is the chief medical officer for the March of Dimes, has stated that he’s not willing yet to give up on the treatment. In fact, it does not have any negative side effects on the mother or the child, and may yet prove itself beneficial.
According to Dr. McCabe, perhaps it could show better results if it were administered orally or intramuscular. The study only recorded the effects of vaginal progesterone. Furthermore, he stated that it might be more effective if it’s administered before conception, and for a longer period of time.
More research is indeed needed, as progesterone is often the resort for dejected parents who desperately need a good outcome.
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