Progesterone may not help with recurrent pregnancy loss (miscarriages)

Giving progesterone to women who have had three or more miscarriages does not improve their chances of carrying a pregnancy to term, according to a new study.

Researchers had hoped that pregnant women who were given supplemental progesterone early in their first trimester would be less likely to miscarry than women who did not have it. Previous studies suggested that progesterone could lower the risk among women with a history of recurrent miscarriages. But the results of the new trial, published in The New England Journal of Medicine, show that 65.8 percent of the women given progesterone gave birth to a baby, compared with 63.3 percent of the control group — not a significant difference.

More than 800 women participated in the trial at 36 sites in Britain and nine in the Netherlands. Neither they nor their doctors knew whether they were receiving progesterone or a placebo, provided via vaginal suppositories.

About 5 percent of women experience two consecutive miscarriages in the first trimester, and 1 percent go through three or more losses. Progesterone, a hormone that is crucial to bringing about and maintaining pregnancy, is often a first-line treatment for unexplained recurrent miscarriages.

About 5 percent of women experience two consecutive miscarriages in the first trimester, and 1 percent go through three or more losses. Progesterone, a hormone that is crucial to bringing about and maintaining pregnancy, is often a first-line treatment for unexplained recurrent miscarriages.

My viewpoint is for progesterone to be effective it should be started at the time of ovulation and if given to women with a demonstrated low level of progesterone it might have been shown to be effective. So I believe there is a place for progesterone in well-selected women with repeated miscarriages. Of course, progesterone is not going to be helpful when the embryo has a chromosomal abnormality which is the case in the vast majority of miscarriages.

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