Progesterone recommended to prevent early miscarriage

Published on: 07/12/2021

Guidance from NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) has encouraged women who have bleeding during early pregnancy and have had at least one miscarriage to be treated with progesterone, a naturally occurring hormone in the female body. About 20% of women experience bleeding or spotting in early pregnancy, and while most of the time it is no reason for concern, it can indicate a miscarriage if it is continuous. The progesterone treatment involves inserting progesterone pessaries into the vagina twice a day.

Research has suggested that this treatment could increase the number of births per year by 8,450. The research by Tommy’s National Centre for Miscarriage Research has shown that the progesterone treatment was most effective the more miscarriages that a woman had, as it made little difference for women who just had bleeding with no miscarriages.

Josie, who is 15 weeks along in her pregnancy after five miscarriages has undergone the progesterone treatment and she and her husband David are extremely hopeful that this will allow them to finally become parents.

Dr. Edward Morris, the president of the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecologists has stated that “it is positive that NICE has acknowledged the latest evidence. We do, however, still have a way to go before understanding the best treatments for women experiencing unexplained pregnancy loss and would welcome further research in this area.”

Furthermore, the Chief Executive of NICE Professor Gillian Leng, has stated that it “is clear that progesterone will not be able to prevent every miscarriage” and it may be “of benefit to some women, and as an inexpensive treatment option, can be made available to women on the NHS from today.”

Read the full NICE guideline here.