Progesterone Can Reduce the Rate of Early Preterm Birth

A new National Institutes of Health study found that progesterone reduced the rate of preterm birth before the 33rd week of pregnancy by 45 percent for one category of at risk women.

The study, published online in Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology today, focused on women who had a short cervix, which is a risk factor for preterm birth. Progesterone is a naturally occurring pregnancy hormone, and a short cervix may be a sign of a progesterone shortage.

Beyond reducing the risk of early delivery, the progesterone treated women’s babies were less likely to develop respiratory distress syndrome, a common breathing complication of preterm infants.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly 1 in every 8 babies in the U.S. are born prematurely each year. Preterm infants are at high risk of long term health and developmental problems including learning disabilities, blindness, deafness, cerebal palsy, and early death.

So for women with a short cervix — which can be identified through routine ultrasound screenings — progesterone treatment could be an important way to increase the length of pregnancy, resulting in healthier babies.

Learn more about preterm delivery:

Add a Comment
Back To GoodyBlog
  1. by tracy

    On April 6, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    I took Progesterone over four years ago. My cervix was shorting (as happened with my first birth 12 years ago and I delivered 10 week early) and I was giving this medication along with bed rest. I also had to be hospitalized for 36 days. At the hospital they checked my blood pressure because the medication can effect it. I really thank this medicine for helping me and my now health son!