Featured Review: Progestogen for preventing miscarriage

Early pregnancy loss, also known as miscarriage, generally occurs in the first trimester. For some women and their partners, miscarriages can happen several times, also known as recurrent miscarriages. While there are sometimes causes for miscarriages that are found, often no clear reasons can be discovered. The hormone called progesterone prepares the womb (uterus) to receive and support the newly fertilized egg during the early part of pregnancy. It has been suggested that some women who miscarry may not make enough progesterone in the early part of pregnancy. Supplementing these women with medications that act like progesterone (these are called progestogens) has been suggested as a possible way to prevent recurrent miscarriage.

This updated Cochrane Review identified a total of 13 trials that enrolled a total of 2556 women with a history of recurrent miscarriages. 

David Haas, Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group Editor said, 

“We found evidence from randomized controlled trials that giving progestogen medication can probably prevent miscarriage for many women with recurrent previous miscarriages. The trials included in this study found that giving progestogen medication to women with recurrent miscarriages early in their pregnancy may help lower the rates of miscarriage in that pregnancy from 26.3% to 19.4%. We believe that these findings are based on evidence of only moderate quality, so we cannot be certain about the results – but can confidently say giving progestogen medication can probably prevent miscarriage. 

“Having miscarriages can be both physically and emotionally difficult for women and their partners. Finding a therapy to help reduce recurrent miscarriages could help women and their partners avoid this and go on to successfully have a baby.”