Pregnant women with a history of miscarriages are often asked to have progesterone supplements. Doctors make such recommendations hoping that it will help those women to avoid another miscarriage. However, now scientists are saying that these hormone supplements don’t have the ability to decrease the chances of miscarriage in women who have had multiple miscarriages.
During a new study, researchers discovered that there is no difference in the birth rates among women receiving progesterone therapies during the first trimester of their pregnancy and the ones receiving a placebo during the same phase.
Among women who took the supplements, 65.8% managed to maintain their pregnancy compared to 63.3% in the placebo group. The factors that researchers took into account include the women’s pregnancy history, medical history, ethnicity and age.
University of Birmingham, England researcher Dr. Arri Coomarasamy said that the 2.5% difference observed in the two groups is absolutely insignificant in this context. Dr. Coomarasamy was the lead researcher of the study. Scientists are saying that this small difference might have surfaced because of pure chance.
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A total of 826 women between the ages of 18 and 39 years participated in the study. Each of these participants had previously experienced recurrent miscarriages for reasons unexplained and has been keenly trying to conceive. Some of them were given a daily vaginal supplement of 400 mg progesterone while the others received a placebo. The treatments were offered until the 12th week of their pregnancy.
For those who don’t know: progesterone plays a big role in helping women achieve and maintain a healthy pregnancy. It’s a hormone secreted by a woman’s corpus lutem, a part of the ovary, and her placenta during pregnancy.
Coomarasamy said that earlier studies suggest that progesterone help in increasing a woman’s chances of delivering a baby even if she has a history of recurrent miscarriage. According to him, the findings of this new study conducted by him and his team will surely disappoint the several thousands of couples and women suffering from the problem.
While it’s true that these fresh findings seem to be quite disappointing, Coomarasamy said that in the future, those findings will be providing experts with the opportunity of gaining a lot of knowledge about women undergoing progesterone supplementation for other purposes like fertility treatments.
The study was published recently in the New England Journal of Medicine.