- Complications in the newborn are associated with women who are pregnant with twins and have a short cervix length.
- Vaginal progesterone treatment in pregnant women may reduce risks associated with newborn complications
Vaginal progesterone treatment may reduce certain risks which can occur with mothers who are pregnant with twins and have a short cervix, finds a study published in the Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology.
The research study was based on a meta-analysis of 6 studies which comprises of 303 women pregnant with twins and who also had a short cervix length of 25mm or less in the mid trimester.
‘Vaginal progesterone treatment in pregnant women may reduce complications in the newborn and prevent preterm births.’
Out of the 303 pregnant women, 159 of them received vaginal progesterone and 144 of them received placebo or no treatment.
Findings of the Study
Pregnant women who took vaginal progesterone treatment were 31% less likely to deliver before 33 weeks of pregnancy when compared to 43% of women who received the placebo.
The treatment was also found to reduce the rate of preterm delivery before 32 weeks and 34 weeks.
Newborns of women who received vaginal progesterone had 30% reduction in the rate of respiratory distress syndrome.
The most common complication of prematurity was 47% in the placebo or no treatment group while only 33% in the vaginal progesterone group.
There was a 46% reduction in the rate of mechanical ventilation (27% in the placebo and no treatment group, while only 16% in vaginal progesterone group).
There was a 4% reduction in the risk of dying during the neonatal period (22% in the placebo group and 11% in the vaginal progesterone group).
Basky Thilaganthan, Editor-in-Chief, Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology's said, "To date, clinical practice and national recommendations to prevent preterm birth and reduce related adverse outcome in twin pregnancies vary significantly because of a lack of convincing scientific evidence and regional variation in the interpretation of said evidence."
"The findings of this individual patient data meta-analysis provide scientific evidence that treatment with vaginal progesterone in women with a short cervix and a twin pregnancy reduces the frequency of preterm birth and related serious adverse perinatal outcomes."
Progesterone is a female hormone which is essential for ovulation and menstruation. The hormone may cause changes in the uterus lining making it easier for the egg to attach to the uterus during pregnancy.
Uses of Vaginal Progesterone
Side Effects of Vaginal Progesterone Treatment
- It is used to cause menstruation in women who are not having their periods due to the lack of progesterone hormone in the body.
- It is also used in fertility treatment for women who are unable to get pregnant due to lack of progesterone hormone.
- Vaginal progesterone is also used to prevent overgrowth in the uterus lining of postmenopausal women.
The possible side effects of vaginal progesterone treatment may lead to
- Unusual vaginal bleeding
- Swelling or tenderness
- Burning sensation during urination
- Pelvic pain
- Liver problems