Progesterone therapy used worldwide to avoid premature births is useless

Progesterone therapy used worldwide to avoid premature births is useless

Treatment has neither positive nor negative effects on the health of newborns
A worldwide therapy that should protect our newborns could be ineffective. This is the conclusion reached by British researchers who are dealing with the so-called progesterone therapy, which should prevent premature births. The treatment is safe for mother and child, but has no significant benefit, according to the researchers.

The globally widespread preterm birth therapy does not appear to have any significant positive effects. The treatment poses no risk to the expectant mother or child, but the researchers at the Tommy's Center for Maternal and Fetal Health found that the treatment did not achieve the results it was originally designed for . The doctors published the results of their study in the specialist journal "The Lancet".

Therapy is supposed to prevent premature babies, but has no use
Premature birth can create many dangers for the child. In this way, parents and doctors try to avoid premature births in order to protect expectant mothers and their children. Progesterone therapy is a therapy that is widespread all over the world and is supposed to prevent premature babies, but it does not appear to be of any significant use, say the experts from the “Tommy’s Center for Maternal and Fetal Health” at the “University of Edinburgh”. Treatment is recommended to women in the UK, other European countries and the United States to prevent premature birth. The therapy is safe for mothers and children, but the review of the tests shows that it appears to be ineffective, the experts explain.

Study on more than 1,200 subjects on premature birth therapy
The study took place between February 2009 and April 2013 and included the investigation of more than 1,200 women. A total of more than 64 clinics from across the UK were involved in the study. The results show that efforts to find alternative interventions in premature babies have to be doubled, the doctors explain. Older studies have come to the conclusion that progesterone therapy can prevent premature birth in pregnant women. However, little has been known about their long-term effects, the researchers say.

Progesterone therapy has no significant benefit
The new study is the largest study to assess the effects of progesterone treatment on expectant mothers. It is also the first study to assess the effects of progesterone in infants after therapy. In their study, the researchers focused on women who were at increased risk of giving birth prematurely. Either because they have given birth prematurely or because they had previously lost a baby during pregnancy. Approximately half of the subjects were given a placebo pill and the remaining women received progesterone. The team found that progesterone had no negative effects on mother and child during therapy. However, the treatment does not reduce the risk of premature birth and offers no other significant benefits for the health of the mother or child, say the doctors.

New strategies to avoid premature birth required
For doctors and women who still use progesterone as prophylaxis against premature birth, the new data can also provide reassurance. The hormone appears to be safe and has no negative effects, at least in children who are at most two years old, the experts explain. If babies are born prematurely, however, there is a much greater risk of short-term and long-term health problems. Therefore, new strategies urgently need to be developed to help mothers avoid premature birth, say the doctors from the "University of Edinburgh". (as)

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