Researchers now recommend the administration of progestogens
to avoid premature birth.
According to the results of a study reported in Obstetrics & Gynecology,
pregnant women who have a history of
premature childbirth may be administered progesterone to avoid calamity and to enjoy its benefits.
In a pregnant woman the level of progesterone, a female hormone,
increases naturally. This hormone is present at all times during the menstrual
stages; its principle role is to maintain pregnancy. Normally progestogens are administered to pregnant
women at the start of the second trimester and are continued through 37
weeks gestation or until the birth
of the child.
In 34 earlier studies which were carried out
between January 1966 and October 2011 on women who were administered
progestogens for prior preterm births, preterm labor, short cervix, multiple
gestations or other indications. Each study comprised of over 20 women who
received progesterone by injection, through vaginal or oral administration.
One study carried out in 2009, published in The Lancet
, revealed that
progesterone does not help avoiding premature childbirth in women who are pregnant with twins.
"Although the report
has revealed some important findings more research is needed to understand its
broader role" remarks Frances E. Likis, leading author and research assistant
professor of Medicine. She says, "While we know that women have
progesterone levels that go up in early pregnancy and remain elevated, we still
don't understand why giving extra progestogens would help them stay pregnant.
The pharmaceutical effects are not well understood."
The study has helped generate hope in women who
have failed to carry a pregnancy through. After all being a mother is a dream
that most women nurture!