EMS-FORSTER-PRODUCTIONS/GettyBy New Scientist staff and Press Association The hormone progesterone may help prevent women from having a second miscarriage, according to a study involving more than 4100 pregnant women. The study tested the hormone as a treatment for women who were experiencing bleeding during early pregnancy. Around half the women were given progesterone as a vaginal pessary twice a day, while the rest were given a placebo instead. Advertisement The treatment didn’t appear to help all the women, but it did seem to have an effect in those who had previously had a miscarriage. In women who’d had one or two miscarriages, 76 per cent of those given progesterone went on to have a live birth, compared with 72 per cent of the placebo group. Read more: Women have more miscarriages than live births over their lifetime Among women who’d had three or more miscarriages, 72 per cent of those given progesterone went on to have a live birth, compared with 52 per cent of the placebo group. “Our finding that women who are at risk of a miscarriage because of current pregnancy bleeding and a history of a previous miscarriage could benefit from progesterone treatment has huge implications,” says Arri Coomarasamy at the University of Birmingham, UK. “We hope that this evidence will be used to update national guidelines for women at risk of miscarriage.” Journal reference: New England Journal of Medicine Read more: Prenatal test spots genetic anomalies linked to miscarriage More on these topics: pregnancy and birth
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