Using progesterone to increase live births

Researchers found a 4% increase in the number of babies born to women in the study who were given progesterone and had previously had one or two miscarriages, compared to those who were given a placebo.

Executive summary

  • The PRISM trial, led by the University of Birmingham and funded by the NIHR, suggests that giving the hormone progesterone to pregnant women with early pregnancy bleeding and a history of miscarriage could increase their chances of having a baby.
  • NICE clinical guidelines do not currently recommend the use of progesterone under these circumstances. We recommend that the guidance should be updated in the light of the new findings.

Background

Research led by the University of Birmingham suggests that giving progesterone to pregnant women with early pregnancy bleeding and a history of miscarriage could increase their chances of having a baby.

The role of progesterone in women with early pregnancy bleeding has been studied and debated for the last 60 years, however what we have previously lacked is high quality evidence. The largest study before the PRISM trial involved fewer than 200 participants. More than 4,000 people took part in the PRISM trial.

Lead academic

Professor Arri Coomarasamy (a full list of contributors can be found in the briefing below)

Download the full briefing

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