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June 2011, Volume 41 Number 6 , p 16 - 16



Some women at high risk for premature delivery may be helped by vaginal progesterone, according to a recent study.A multicenter, randomized, placebo-controlled study included 458 women who had a short cervix, which is a risk factor for premature birth. They were treated with either vaginal progesterone gel or placebo daily between the 19th and 23rd week of pregnancy. Of the women who received the progesterone gel, 8.9% delivered before the 33rd week of pregnancy, compared with 16.1% in the placebo group. This translates to a 45% reduction in the rate of preterm birth before 33 weeks of gestation. In addition, fewer babies born to the women receiving the gel had respiratory distress syndrome: 3% in the study group were born with respiratory problems compared with 7.6% in the placebo group.Vaginal progesterone gel could be a simple way to reduce the risk of premature birth in women with a short cervix, improving neonatal outcomes.Sources: Hassan SS, Romero R, Vidyadhari D, et al. Vaginal

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