Posted on: 18 January 2017
Progesterone has been used to help treat infertility for more than 50 years but experts now claim that it could be used to prevent miscarriages.
The hormone not only regulates the menstrual cycle and plays a role in sexual desire, it also helps stabilise the endometrium – the inner lining of the uterus.
It is thought that most miscarriages are caused by abnormal chromosomes in the baby – the genetic building blocks that guide the development of a baby. If a foetus has too many or not enough chromosomes, it won’t develop properly.
There are, however, a large number of recurrent unexplained miscarriages. A new study suggests that endometrial glands may play a larger role in early pregnancy than previously thought.
The study identified women with abnormal endometrial development by examining the expression of cell proteins, cyclin E or nCyclineE. Women with abnormal levels of nCyclineE, a marker for the health of endometrium, were prescribed progesterone during the second half of their menstrual cycle, when the uterine lining matures in preparation for a possible pregnancy.
The scientists found two-thirds of pregnancies were successful in women who received progesterone.
The study was published in Fertility and Sterility, the international journal of the American Society for Reproductive Health.