- Preterm births are on the rise globally
- It can cause serious congenital disabilities and attributes to main cause for infant mortality
- Preterm labor may end up with pre term birth
- It can be arrested through medication called tocolytics
- Research explore efficiency of progesterone in delaying delivery in arrested preterm labor
Preterm labor occurs when the uterus contractions begin for child birth between 20 weeks and 37 weeks of pregnancy. It can be diagnosed when the cervix changes occur. Usually, preterm labor disappears on its own while 10 percent preterm labor leads to preterm birth.
In case of preterm labor that may lead to birth, the health care provider may administer Tocolytic drugs to delay delivery for up to 48 hours. A recent study has conducted a clinical trial on administering progesterone as maintenance tocolytics for delaying the delivery.
The study revealed that progesterone was ineffective in delaying delivery or arrested labor condition in preterm labor. Progesterone has been administered to pregnant women for several reasons like threatened miscarriage, recurrent miscarriage, etc.
The study conducted by a team of professionals from Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Calgary, Canada, include 41 women. They were divided into two groups of experiment and control group in which one was administered with progesterone.
As per the research, the latency to delivery and gestational age were not significantly varied in the controlled and experiment group showing no difference in administering progesterone.
The researchers also examined other research works done in different parts of the world about the progesterone administration for preterm labor. The meta analysis of data also substantiated that using progesterone to maintenance tocolytics did not fetch considerable effect after arrested labor.
Preterm birth can result in serious congenital disabilities. It is the leading cause of infant mortality across the world. Preterm births are on the rise and dealing with it is actually a public health challenge.
The researchers also suggest that the existing data or records never recommend a minimum or maximum dosage of administering progesterone as maintenance tocolytics for preterm labor. Though one clinical trial had reported around 400 mg progesterone intakes for delaying delivery in a preterm labor case, which is actually a higher dose than in practice normally.
The study was published online on August 2, 2017, in BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth Journal