Progesterone to Prevent Miscarriage: Unveiling the Potential

Rishabh Mehta
Medically reviewed by
Dr. Kaushal

Review medical content on WOW Rx Pharmacy, so that accurate drug use information is easily accessible to everybody.
Dr. Akansha is a licensed Clinical Pharmacologist. She possesses remarkable knowledge in Pharmacovigilance, prescription analysis, drug information, and drug safety services. Additionally, she is a keen learner and an educator.

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Progesterone is also known as the pregnancy hormone because of its vitality in a healthy pregnancy. 

It creates a healthy uterine lining to support the fertilized egg and fetus. 

With time, its efficiency is being explored for additional benefits for women who have had miscarriages and difficulty in conceiving. 

It is even claimed that Progesterone lowers the risk of miscarriage. 

This article attempts to find the truth behind these claims and explores the potential use of Progesterone to prevent miscarriage.

Can Progesterone prevent miscarriage?

Progesterone cannot guarantee miscarriage prevention, but it enhances the immune response of the mother to prevent rejection of the embryo and also suppresses uterine contractions. 

So, its supplementation may reduce miscarriage risk in women with a history of recurrent miscarriages. 

It can help women who have the aspects as follows:

  • Early pregnancy bleeding
  • Had miscarriage before
  • Pregnancy in the right place in the uterus

According to a 2020 study, the results of Progesterone use for miscarriage prevention compared to a placebo group depicted no benefit for women with no miscarriage history

However, about a 5 percent improvement was noticed in the live birth rate for women with one or two miscarriages

Women with at least three or more miscarriages had the most benefit with a 15 percent improvement in the live birth rate. 

Currently, Progesterone can only help women with a miscarriage history. 

It cannot help if

  • Taken before pregnancy
  • Used without a history of miscarriage
  • Used without early pregnancy bleeding
Fact:
The required luteal serum Progesterone is at least above 10 ng/ml for the best chance of embryo implantation and ongoing pregnancy.

When to start Progesterone to prevent miscarriage

Untreated Asymptomatic uti can affect your bladder and, eventually, kidneysSource: A's Images
Take progesterone after a pregnancy

There are different times suggested to start Progesterone to prevent miscarriage. 

Starting Progesterone treatment till 16 weeks after a successful pregnancy is helpful. 

However, according to other studies, Progesterone treatment is only required till 12 weeks. 

Arri Coomarasamy, the director of Tommy’s National Centre for Miscarriage Research suggests starting treatment with 400 mg Progesterone twice a day upon spotting vaginal bleeding till 16 completed weeks of gestation.

So, the conclusion of all results is early pregnancy supplementation for 12-16 weeks. 

For the right dosage and to ensure safety, you must consult a doctor. 

Does stopping Progesterone early cause miscarriage

There is no evidence to support stopping Progesterone early can cause miscarriage. 

A study even concluded that one can safely stop the use of Progesterone after confirming pregnancy. 

This is because extra Progesterone is not needed after 12 weeks as the placenta takes over the hormone production. 

So, stopping Progesterone use after that may not affect the chances of miscarriage. 

You must consult a medical expert to decide the right time to start or stop Progesterone along with its dosage. 

Recommended Article
When taking Progesterone, you need to stay extra cautious as some foods can reduce its effectiveness. To find out more, read Steering Clear: Foods to Avoid While Taking Progesterone

Does low Progesterone cause miscarriage

Low Progesterone is often associated with an increased risk of miscarriage. 

According to a 2022 study, low Progesterone increased the risk ratio of miscarriage by 1.48 times.

Low Progesterone may not be the direct cause of these miscarriages, but its deficiency can affect pregnancy. 

It can prevent the body from preparing a thick uterine lining for the embryo to grow, which is necessary for a healthy pregnancy. 

So, the chances of miscarriage increase. 

Warning:
Low Progesterone also decreases fertility and increases the risk of Endometrial Neoplasia (a precancerous lesion that can cause Endometrial Cancer). To avoid these consequences, one must consult a doctor for treatment. 

Risks of Progesterone Supplementation in Pregnancy

UTIs in women are considered complicated if they are pregnantSource: tatyana_tomsickova from Getty Images
Pregnant woman

Progesterone supplementation is usually safe during pregnancy. 

However, some separate case studies and evidence do put forward potential risks in newborns. 

The use of Progesterone increases the risk of Hypospadias (a birth defect in males where the urethra opening is not present at the tip of the penis). 

Some side effects can be noted in mothers as well. 

A study found that the use of a Hydroxyprogesterone (human-made Progestin hormone) injection caused adverse effects like swelling, lump, and soreness in the injection site in 50 percent of women. 

Although, these effects are not applicable to vaginal Progesterone. 

Conclusion

Progesterone can be an effective option to prevent miscarriage in women who experience early pregnancy bleeding with a history of miscarriage. 

It can help suppress uterine contractions and prevent rejection of the embryo. 

If the Progesterone levels drop, it can increase the chances of miscarriage.

Starting Progesterone in early pregnancy or after experiencing vaginal bleeding for up to 12-16 weeks can improve the chances of retaining the pregnancy. 

It is usually safe, but incidences of Hypospadias in newborns and adverse events like swelling in pregnant women have been reported. 

One must consult a doctor before starting Progesterone for the right dosage and avoiding complications. 

Overall, Progesterone supplementation presents a potential way to motherhood for women with recurrent miscarriage experiences. 

Frequently Asked Questions

When should I take Progesterone to prevent miscarriage? 

A woman can start taking Progesterone in early pregnancy or after vaginal bleeding during early pregnancy. However, consulting a doctor for safety and dosage is necessary. The supplementation continues for 16 weeks. Sometimes, it may last up to 12 weeks till the placenta takes over hormone production. 

Does Progesterone really prevent miscarriage? 

Progesterone cannot prevent all miscarriages. However, it can improve the chances of successful conception and retain pregnancy in women with a history of miscarriage. It helps women who experience vaginal bleeding during pregnancy along with miscarriage history. 

Can low Progesterone cause miscarriage?

Low Progesterone can increase the chances of miscarriage. Progesterone is a hormone vital for a healthy pregnancy. So, its lack can affect embryo implantation, which is necessary for maintaining a pregnancy. Even a study confirmed that low Progesterone increased the risk of miscarriage by 1.48 times. 

Is Progesterone helpful in preventing miscarriage for all women? 

Progesterone cannot prevent miscarriage in all women. It can be helpful for women with bleeding during pregnancy or miscarriage history. Women with 1-2 miscarriages can improve live birth rate chances by 5 percent with Progesterone supplementation. Moreover, women with 3 or more miscarriages benefit by 15 percent.

Citations:
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