– EN Fitness & Wellbeing – New research has discovered a simple hormone treatment can be used to spare women the heartbreak of a miscarriage.
Thousands of babies’ lives could be saved after a major study of 4,000 pregnant women, funded by the research arm of the NHS, found that giving high-risk women progesterone for 16 weeks significantly increased their chance of having a baby.
Women with a history of miscarriage who suffered warning signs early in pregnancy – including vaginal bleeding – could benefit from the treatment, the University of Birmingham study showed.
Miscarriage affects more than one in five pregnancies, and experts have now called for the NHS to rewrite guidelines in light of the findings.
The researchers found giving the women progesterone did not necessarily help all those who suffered early pregnancy bleeding, but the benefit was greatest for those at the highest risk – women who had suffered three or more miscarriages in the past.
Research leader Professor Arri Coomarasamy said that their findings could have huge implications on the care of women in the first few weeks of high-risk pregnancies.
“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 for practice,” he shared. “This treatment could save thousands of babies who may have otherwise been lost to a miscarriage.
Jane Brewin, chief executive of Tommy’s, a charity that funds research into miscarriage, stillbirth and premature birth, welcomed the groundbreaking results.
“They now have a robust and effective treatment option which will save many lives and prevent much heartache. It gives us confidence to believe that further research will yield more treatments and ultimately make many more miscarriages preventable,” she said.