Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New study shows promise for preventing preterm births

Date:
December 15, 2011
Source:
University of Kentucky
Summary:
A new study has found that applying vaginal progesterone to women who are at a high risk of preterm birth significantly decreased the odds of a premature delivery.

A new study co-authored by the University of Kentucky's Dr. John O'Brien found that applying vaginal progesterone to women who are at a high risk of preterm birth significantly decreased the odds of a premature delivery.

Related Articles


The new study, published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, described a two-prong strategy used by doctors: participating pregnant women underwent a measurement of the cervical length via transvaginal cervical ultrasound to define risk for preterm birth; and those found to have a short cervix were successfully treated with vaginal progesterone. A short cervix -- defined as a length of 25 millimeters or less -- is a major risk factor for preterm birth.

Approximately 12.9 million births worldwide are preterm which is defined as less than 37 weeks of gestation. The United States has the highest rate of preterm births in the world. "Early" preterm births -- those less than 32 weeks -- are associated with a high rate of neonatal complications and long-term neurologic disability. "Late" preterm births (between 34 and 36-6/7 weeks) represent 70 percent of all preterm births; and although they have a lower rate of complications than early preterm births, they are still a major health care problem.

The study showed that the vaginal application of progesterone gel significantly reduces the rate of preterm birth in women at less than 33 weeks of gestation, but also is effective at less than 28, 32 and 35 weeks. This means that vaginal progesterone reduces both "early" and "late" preterm births.

Vaginal progesterone administered to women with a short cervix detected via ultrasound also reduced the rate of admissions to the newborn intensive care unit; respiratory distress syndrome; the need for mechanical ventilation; and a composite score of complications that included intracranial hemorrhage, bowel problems, respiratory difficulties, infection and death.

O'Brien, division chief of Maternal-Fetal Medicine at UK, says the progesterone treatment is safe because the natural pregnancy hormone is the made by the placenta and the ovaries during pregnancy.

"For too long, little progress has been made in the prevention of premature births," said O'Brien. "However, this new large study shows that it's possible to both help women determine if they are at risk for preterm birth, and provide a safe and effective treatment to help prevent preterm births."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Kentucky. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Roberto Romero, Kypros Nicolaides, Agustin Conde-Agudelo, Ann Tabor, John M. O’Brien, Elcin Cetingoz, Eduardo Da Fonseca, George Creasy, Katharina Klein, Line Rode, Priya Soma-Pillay, Shalini Fusey, Cetin Cam, Zarko Alfirevic, Sonia S. Hassan. Vaginal Progesterone In Women With An Asymptomatic Sonographic Short Cervix In The Midtrimester Decreases Preterm Delivery And Neonatal Morbidity: A Systematic Review And Meta-Analysis Of Individual Patient Data. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 2011; DOI: 10.1016/j.ajog.2011.12.003

Cite This Page:

University of Kentucky. "New study shows promise for preventing preterm births." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 December 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111215135924.htm>.
University of Kentucky. (2011, December 15). New study shows promise for preventing preterm births. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111215135924.htm
University of Kentucky. "New study shows promise for preventing preterm births." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111215135924.htm (accessed December 18, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

AFP (Dec. 17, 2014) Border closures, quarantines and crop losses in West African nations battling the Ebola virus could lead to as many as one million people going hungry, UN food agencies said on Wednesday. Duration: 00:52 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Can fat disappear into thin air? New research finds that during weight loss, over 80 percent of a person's fat molecules escape through the lungs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Your Boss Should Let You Sleep In

Why Your Boss Should Let You Sleep In

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) According to research out of the University of Pennsylvania, waking up for work is the biggest factor that causes Americans to lose sleep. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Flu Outbreak Closing Schools in Ohio

Flu Outbreak Closing Schools in Ohio

AP (Dec. 17, 2014) A wave of flu illnesses has forced some Ohio schools to shut down over the past week. State officials confirmed one pediatric flu-related death, a 15-year-old girl in southern Ohio. (Dec. 17) 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