Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Progesterone reduces rate of early preterm birth in at-risk women, study suggests

Date:
April 6, 2011
Source:
NIH/National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
Summary:
A new study has found that progesterone, a naturally occurring hormone, reduced the rate of preterm birth before the 33rd week of pregnancy by 45 percent among one category of at-risk women. The women in the study had a short cervix, which is known to increase the risk for preterm birth. The cervix is the part of the uterus that opens and shortens during labor.

A National Institutes of Health study has found that progesterone, a naturally occurring hormone, reduced the rate of preterm birth before the 33rd week of pregnancy by 45 percent among one category of at risk women.

The women in the study had a short cervix, which is known to increase the risk for preterm birth. The cervix is the part of the uterus that opens and shortens during labor.

The study also found that infants born to women who had received progesterone were less likely to develop respiratory distress syndrome, a breathing complication occurring in preterm infants.

The study was published online in Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Infants born preterm are at high risk of early death and long term health and developmental problems. In 2005, there were 12.9 million preterm births worldwide. In the United States, 12.8 percent of infants were born preterm in 2008. Preterm infants are at increased risk for death in the first year of life, and breathing difficulties, cerebral palsy, learning disabilities, blindness and deafness.

The study was undertaken by physicians of the Perinatology Research Branch at NIH's Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) along with 44 medical centers around the world (including Asia, Africa, Europe, North and South America). The study was a collaboration between the NIH and Columbia Laboratories, Inc., in Livingston, N.J.

"Our study demonstrates that progesterone gel reduces the rate of early preterm delivery -- less than 33 weeks -- in women with a short cervix," said Roberto Romero, M.D., program head for Perinatology Research and Obstetrics and chief of the Perinatology Research Branch. "Women with a short cervix can be identified through routine ultrasound screening. Once identified, they could be offered treatment with progesterone."

Dr. Romero explained that progesterone is a naturally occurring hormone which is essential to maintain pregnancy and that a short cervix is thought to be a sign of a possible shortage of progesterone.

The study authors reasoned that by giving progesterone to women with a short cervix, they could, in many cases, prolong pregnancy.

A total of 458 women with a short cervix (10-20 millimeters) were randomly assigned to receive either a vaginal gel progesterone preparation or a placebo between the 19th and 23rd week of pregnancy.

Progesterone treatment was associated with a lower rate of preterm delivery at less than 33 weeks (8.9 percent in the progesterone group versus 16.1 percent in the placebo group). Differences in the rate of preterm birth were also seen in births before 28 and 35 weeks of pregnancy.

  • Born before 28 weeks: 5.1 percent(progesterone) 10.3 percent (placebo
  • Born before 35 weeks: 14.5 percent (progesterone) 23.3 percent (placebo)
  • Infants born to women who received progesterone had a lower rate of respiratory distress syndrome than those in the placebo group (3 percent versus 7.6 percent).

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NIH/National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Sonia S. Hassan, Roberto Romero, Dommeti Vidyadhari, Shalini Fusey, Jason Baxter, Meena Khandelwal, Jaya Vijayaraghavan, Yamini Trivedi, Priya Soma-Pillay, Pradip Sambarey, Ashlesha Dayal, Valentin Potapov, John O'Brien, Vladimir Astakhov, Oleksandr Yuzko, Wendy Kinzler, Bonnie Dattel, Harish Sehdev, Liudmila Mazheika, Dmitriy Manchulenko, Maria Teresa Gervasi, Lisa Sullivan, Agustin Conde-Agudelo, James A. Phillips and George W. Creasy, for the PREGNANT Trial. Vaginal progesterone reduces the rate of preterm birth in women with a sonographic short cervix: a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology, 2011 DOI: 10.1002/uog.9017

Cite This Page:

NIH/National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. "Progesterone reduces rate of early preterm birth in at-risk women, study suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 April 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110406102129.htm>.
NIH/National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. (2011, April 6). Progesterone reduces rate of early preterm birth in at-risk women, study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110406102129.htm
NIH/National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. "Progesterone reduces rate of early preterm birth in at-risk women, study suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110406102129.htm (accessed September 30, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How 'Yes Means Yes' Defines Sexual Assault

How 'Yes Means Yes' Defines Sexual Assault

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) Aimed at reducing sexual assaults on college campuses, California has adopted a new law changing the standard of consent for sexual activity. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists May Have Found An Early Sign Of Pancreatic Cancer

Scientists May Have Found An Early Sign Of Pancreatic Cancer

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) Researchers looked at 1,500 blood samples and determined people who developed pancreatic cancer had more branched chain amino acids. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Colo. Doctors See Cluster of Enterovirus Cases

Colo. Doctors See Cluster of Enterovirus Cases

AP (Sep. 29, 2014) Doctors at the Children's Hospital of Colorado say they have treated over 4,000 children with serious respiratory illnesses since August. Nine of the patients have shown distinct neurological symptoms, including limb weakness. (Sept. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dr.'s Unsure of Cause of Fast-Spreading Virus

Dr.'s Unsure of Cause of Fast-Spreading Virus

AP (Sep. 29, 2014) Doctors at the Children's Hospital of Colorado say they have treated over 4,000 children with serious respiratory illnesses since August. Nine of the patients have shown distinct neurological symptoms, including limb weakness. (Sept. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins