Navigation Links
New study shows promise for preventing preterm births

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- A new study co-authored by the University of Kentucky's Dr. John O'Brien found that applying vaginal progesterone to women who are at a high risk of preterm birth significantly decreased the odds of a premature delivery.

The new study, published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, described a two-prong strategy used by doctors: participating pregnant women underwent a measurement of the cervical length via transvaginal cervical ultrasound to define risk for preterm birth; and those found to have a short cervix were successfully treated with vaginal progesterone. A short cervix defined as a length of 25 millimeters or less is a major risk factor for preterm birth.

Approximately 12.9 million births worldwide are preterm which is defined as less than 37 weeks of gestation. The United States has the highest rate of preterm births in the world. "Early" preterm births -- those less than 32 weeks -- are associated with a high rate of neonatal complications and long-term neurologic disability. "Late" preterm births (between 34 and 36-6/7 weeks) represent 70 percent of all preterm births; and although they have a lower rate of complications than early preterm births, they are still a major health care problem.

The study showed that the vaginal application of progesterone gel significantly reduces the rate of preterm birth in women at less than 33 weeks of gestation, but also is effective at less than 28, 32 and 35 weeks. This means that vaginal progesterone reduces both "early" and "late" preterm births.

Vaginal progesterone administered to women with a short cervix detected via ultrasound also reduced the rate of admissions to the newborn intensive care unit; respiratory distress syndrome; the need for mechanical ventilation; and a composite score of complications that included intracranial hemorrhage, bowel problems, respiratory difficulties, infection and death.

O'Brien, division chief of Maternal-Fetal Medicine at UK, says the progesterone treatment is safe because the natural pregnancy hormone is the made by the placenta and the ovaries during pregnancy.

"For too long, little progress has been made in the prevention of premature births," said O'Brien. "However, this new large study shows that it's possible to both help women determine if they are at risk for preterm birth, and provide a safe and effective treatment to help prevent preterm births."

Contact: Allison Perry
University of Kentucky

Related biology news :

1. Long-term study shows effect of climate change on animal diversity
2. £2 million study to reveal workings of dementia genes
3. New study looks to define evangelicals and how they affect polling
4. CU-Boulder study suggests air quality regulations miss key pollutants
5. Researchers study acoustic communication in deep-sea fish
6. Study reveals homeowner perceptions in fire-prone areas
7. Researchers study how pistachios may improve heart health
8. Study: urban black bears live fast, die young
9. New study indicates link between weight gains during pregnancy and dieting history
10. Study reveals specific gene in adolescent men with delinquent peers
11. Sweat it out: UH study examines ability of sweat patches to monitor bone loss
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/22/2016)... 22, 2016   Acuant , the ... solutions, has partnered with RightCrowd ® ... Visitor Management, Self-Service Kiosks and Continuous Workforce ... add functional enhancements to existing physical access ... venues with an automated ID verification and ...
(Date:6/21/2016)... British Columbia , June 21, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... appointed to the new role of principal product ... been named the director of customer development. Both ... NuData,s chief technical officer. The moves reflect NuData,s ... teams in response to high customer demand and ...
(Date:6/16/2016)... FRANCISCO , June 16, 2016 ... size is expected to reach USD 1.83 ... by Grand View Research, Inc. Technological proliferation and ... banking applications are expected to drive the market ... ) , The development of advanced ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016   Boston Biomedical ... novel compounds designed to target cancer stemness pathways, ... been granted Orphan Drug Designation from the U.S. ... of gastric cancer, including gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) cancer. ... designed to inhibit cancer stemness pathways by targeting ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Charm Sciences, ... microbial test has received AOAC Research Institute approval 061601. , “This is another ... year,” stated Bob Salter, Vice President of Regulatory and Industrial Affairs. “The Peel ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Supplyframe, ... of the Supplyframe Design Lab . Located in Pasadena, Calif., the Design ... of how hardware projects are designed, built and brought to market. , The ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016  Blueprint Bio, a ... discoveries to the medical community, has closed its Series ... Matthew Nunez . "We have received a ... the capital we need to meet our current goals," ... provide us the runway to complete validation on the ...
Breaking Biology Technology: