How progesterone could prevent thousands of miscarriages
London - Thousands more babies could be born each year if women with a history of miscarriages were given a hormone, experts say.
They want progesterone to be given twice a day to women who bleed early in pregnancy.
Progesterone is naturally secreted by the ovaries and placenta in early pregnancy and is vital for a healthy baby.
Experts from the University of Birmingham and Tommy’s National Centre for Miscarriage say women at risk should be given it as a standard.
They suggest the £200 (about R3 800) drug would result in more babies being born each year. Between 20 and 25 per cent of pregnancies end in a miscarriage, having a major clinical and psychological impact on women and their families.
A study in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology examines the findings of two trials, Promise and Prism.
Promise studied 836 women with unexplained recurrent miscarriages at 45 hospitals in the UK and the Netherlands, and found a three percent higher live birth rate with progesterone.
Prism studied 4 153 women with early pregnancy bleeding at 48 hospitals in the UK. It found that giving progesterone resulted in a five percent increase in the number of babies born to those who had suffered one or more miscarriages.
The benefit was even greater for women with three or more miscarriages, with a 15 percent increase in the live birth rate.
A second study, in the journal BJOG, found that the Prism trial indicated progesterone is cost-effective, costing on average £204 per pregnancy.
Since publication of the results last May, 75 percent offer it.
Dr Adam Devall, senior clinical trial fellow at the University of Birmingham and manager of the Tommy’s research centre, said: "The dual risk factors of early pregnancy bleeding and a history of miscarriages identify high risk women in whom progesterone is of benefit."Daily Mail