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Progesterone Hormone May Offer Hope to Prevent Miscarriage

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  • Miscarriage is a pregnancy loss in women that occurs during the first-trimester.
  • Progesterone hormone offers new hope to prevent recurrent miscarriage in women.
  • Women with recurrent pregnancy loss can be benefited by the safe and inexpensive treatment option.

Progesterone hormone offers hope for a successful birth in women who suffer from multiple pregnancy losses in the first four or six weeks of gestation, finds a new study from the Yale School of Medicine and their research team at University of Illinois at Chicago.

The study findings were published in the issue of Fertility and Sterility, the Journal of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.


Progesterone Hormone May Offer Hope to Prevent Miscarriage
Progesterone Hormone May Offer Hope to Prevent Miscarriage

Fetal death affects 30000 women every year in the United States. Around 25% of women who become pregnant have a first-trimester loss.

Progesterone is a steroid hormone produced by the corpus luteum (temporary endocrine gland). It helps the endometrium to prepare for pregnancy after ovulation.

Research Study

The research team studied the effects of micronized plant-derived progesterone hormone in 116 women who had multiple pregnancy losses.

The Endometrial function test (EFT) was created by Harvey J Kliman, M.D., director of the Reproductive and Placental Research Unit in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at Yale School of Medicine and was used to determine whether the endometrium is healthy and can sustain the embryo.

An abnormal endometrial function test was found to be associated with pregnancy failure while a normal endometrial function test may result in pregnancy success.

The research team also focused on nCycline biomarker which can assess recurrent pregnancy loss in patients.

Women who had abnormal nCycline levels were prescribed progesterone hormone for two days after ovulation ( time during which the uterine lining matures for pregnancy).

The scientists believed that progesterone hormone could cause the endometrium to produce more secretions.

Kliman, said, "The endometrium feeds the baby until the eighth week of pregnancy. Then at 9 to 10 weeks the mother's blood takes over to feed the embryo."

"In this subset of women experiencing multiple early miscarriages, we assume that their embryos were literally starving to death".

"They attached, but they were not getting enough food. When we give progesterone back to these women, the endometrium makes more nutrients and prevents their pregnancy loss," Klimann, added.

The researcher also said, that the endometrial function test with the nCycline biomarker was created initially to identify women with infertility. This study finds that the test could also help to identify patients with multiple pregnancy loss.

Kliman worked along with Mary Stephenson, M.D., and Dr. Theresa S. Falcon-Cullinan Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Illinois at Chicago,director of the University of Illinois Recurrent Pregnancy Loss Program.

Stephenson, said, "We are very pleased to find that these results reinforce the evidence that progesterone could be a very beneficial, inexpensive, and safe treatment for many women with a history of recurrent pregnancy loss."

"The positive results show us that next we need to study progesterone as a treatment for recurrent pregnancy loss with a prospective randomized trial to validate the findings."

  • Miscarriage refers to a pregnancy loss in women that occurs before 20 weeks of gestation.
  • According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), miscarriage is one of the common types of pregnancy loss.
  • Hormonal problems, maternal age, lifestyle problems like smoking, drug use, malnutrition can all be a cause for a miscarriage.
  • There is a 20-35% chance of miscarriage in women who are between the age of 35-45 years. And a 50% chance of miscarriage in women above the age of 45.
  • Eating healthy, exercising regularly and managing stress may help to prevent miscarriage.
References :
  1. Mary D. Stephenson et.al., Luteal start vaginal micronized progesterone improves pregnancy success in women with recurrent pregnancy loss, Fertility and Sterility; (2017) DOI link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fertnstert.2016.11.029
  2. What Does Progesterone Do? - (http://www.hormone.org/hormones-and-health/what-do-hormones-do/progesterone)
  3. Progesterone - (https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a604017.html)
  4. Miscarriage - (http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-complications/miscarriage/)
Source: Medindia

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