Progesterone: Indications for the Prevention of Preterm Birth
Begona Martinez de Tejada.
Several strategies to prevent preterm birth have been evaluated over the last decades, but prematurity remains
frequent, even in industrialized countries. One of the major challenges in obstetrics is to reduce the neonatal morbidity
and mortality associated with preterm birth, as well as its associated cost. Progesterone has been used for several decades
as a prophylactic treatment to prevent preterm birth, but its efficiency and side-effects have been always questioned. More
recent research has demonstrated the usefulness of this treatment in certain pregnant populations and suggests that
progesterone is effective for women with a prior history of preterm birth and for those with a short cervix measured by
transvaginal ultrasound at midtrimester. In women with multiple gestations, progesterone is not indicated and studies are
still ongoing among women with threatened preterm labour. In this article, we reviewed the different indications for the
use of progesterone to prevent preterm birth, possible formulations available, and associated economic aspects.
Keywords: Neonatology, obstetrics, progesterone, progestagens, preterm birth/delivery, preterm labour, short cervix, side
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