Progesterone Offers No Benefit for Bleeding in Early Pregnancy

Progesterone administered in first trimester does not result in significantly more live births

(HealthDay News) — For women with bleeding in early pregnancy, progesterone therapy administered during the first trimester does not result in significantly more live births, according to a study published in the May 9 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Arri Coomarasamy, MB, ChB, MD, from the College of Medical and Dental Sciences at the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom, and colleagues conducted a randomized trial to compare progesterone to placebo for women with vaginal bleeding in early pregnancy. A total of 4,153 women were randomly assigned to receive either progesterone (2,079 women) or placebo (2,074 women) twice daily from the time at which they presented with bleeding through 16 weeks.

The researchers found that the incidence of live births after at least 34 weeks of gestation was 75% and 72% for women in the progesterone and placebo groups, respectively (relative rate, 1.03; 95% CI, 1.00 to 1.07; P=.08). There was no significant difference between the groups in the incidence of adverse events.

“The current randomized, placebo-controlled trial of treatment for threatened abortion provides much-needed information regarding both the true risk of pregnancy loss in the absence of treatment and the small, statistically insignificant difference in the incidence of live births between treatment and expectant management in a contemporary context,” write the authors of an accompanying editorial.

Two authors disclosed financial ties to the biopharmaceutical industry.

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