Progesterone plays an important role in determining the success of a pregnancy. Women who had several miscarriages are generally prescribed with progesterone supplements to prevent another miscarriage.
In a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine
, researchers from the University of Birmingham analyzed whether providing progesterone supplements during the first trimester of pregnancy will prevent miscarriage and increase rate of live births in women with multiple miscarriages.
‘Progesterone supplements during the first trimester of pregnancy did not prevent miscarriage and increase rate of live births in women with recurrent miscarriages.’
Researchers conducted a double-blind randomized trial on 826 women with recurrent miscarriages. Participants were given twice-daily vaginal suppositories containing either 400 mg of micronized progesterone or matched placebo from a time soon after a positive urinary pregnancy test through 12 weeks of gestation.
They found that 65.8 percent of women given progesterone gave birth to a baby compared to 63.3 percent who did not take the supplement.
"We had hoped, like many people, that this research would confirm progesterone as an effective treatment. Though disappointing, it does address a question that has remained unanswered since progesterone was first proposed as a treatment back in 1953. Fortunately, there are a number of other positives that we can take from the trial as a whole," said Professor Arri Coomarasamy, lead author of the study.
Researchers concluded that progesterone therapy in the first trimester of pregnancy did not result in a significantly higher rate of live births among women with a history of unexplained recurrent miscarriages.
Reference: Arri Coomarasamy, Helen William et al. "A Randomized Trial of Progesterone in Women with Recurrent Miscarriages," N Engl J Med 2015; 373:2141-2148 November 26, 2015 DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1504927