Preventing Premature Birth: Progesterone Treatment (17P)
Have you had a premature baby before? If you have and are pregnant again or want to become pregnant, treatment with the hormone progesterone may help prevent another premature birth.
Since 2003, research studies have found that treatment with the hormone progesterone reduces the rate of premature birth among some women.
ACOG says that progesterone may also be given to women who have a short cervix.
Studies to date have not reported serious side effects from progesterone for either mother or baby. Progesterone treatment does not appear to increase the risk of birth defects or developmental problems in the baby (through the first 2 years of life). Longer-term follow-up of study participants has not been done.
The studies use two forms of progesterone, an injected form (17P) and a vaginal form (suppositories or creams):
If you have already had a premature baby or you have a short cervix, ask your health care provider if progesterone treatment might be a good choice for you.
Will Insurance Pay for Treatment?
This article is based, in part, on guidelines provided by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).