Women at risk of miscarriage to be offered progesterone

Research suggests that 8,450 miscarriages could be prevented by offering progesterone to those who are at high risk.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has updated its guidance to suggest that inexpensive treatment should be offered to those who have a history of miscarriage and who are suffering from bleeding in early pregnancy.

Although a trial carried out by researchers at the Tommy’s National Centre for Miscarriage Research, which the new guidance is based on, found that progesterone didn’t make much of a difference in women who had no miscarriage history, it was found in the trial that the more miscarriages a woman had, the more effective using progesterone as a treatment was, as the naturally occurring hormone helps the womb prepare for a baby.

About one in five women experience some form of bleeding or spotting in the first twelve weeks of pregnancy, often causing no problems.

pregnant near door

However, one in four pregnancies ends in miscarriage, making this a significant moment in progress for the prevention of miscarriages.

The new guidance suggests that women who have previously had a miscarriage and have a confirmed pregnancy by scan can be offered 400mg of micronised progesterone twice daily, with treatment continuing until 16 weeks of pregnancy.

NICE estimates that around 1,200 women with a history of prior miscarriage could be eligible for the treatment, with Tommy’s stating that as many as 8,450 miscarriages a year could be prevented with the new guidance.

NICE also called for more research to be done, specifically around whether progesterone could be helpful for those without a history of miscarriage, if they suffer bleeding in early pregnancy, or to those who have a previous history of miscarriage but aren’t experiencing bleeding.


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