Can reduce some women’s chances of miscarriage

Giving the hormone progesterone to women who have had a miscarriage and experience early bleeding in pregnancy could improve their chances of having baby, a study suggests.

Birmingham researchers carried out a trial on 4,000 pregnant women. Samantha Allen, 31, experienced spotting when she lost her first baby and then again during her second pregnancy.

After taking the hormone for eight weeks, she gave birth to her son Noah.

Progesterone is a hormone essential in pregnancy – for maintaining the lining of the womb where the embryo is implanted and for supporting the immune system.

Samantha was prescribed progesterone pessaries for the trial, which she took twice a day until she was 16 weeks’ pregnant.

She said the bleeding stopped within a week of starting the trial and the pregnancy progressed very smoothly. She now hopes that more women who have had a miscarriage could benefit.

“I just hope they don’t have to go through the same heartache – it does take its toll on you,” she said. Miscarriage affects one in five women, and vaginal bleeding in early pregnancy is linked to an increased risk of it happening.

With progesterone already used in IVF treatment, Samantha said that she had no qualms about taking part in the trial. “I feel happy that I did participate. It didn’t feel like a risk because it wasn’t an early stage trial.”