The guidance issued by the Health Watchdog regarding miscarriage has been updated to reflect that certain women may be eligible for the hormone drug.
A hormone drug may be prescribed to women who are at higher risk for miscarriage.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has updated its guidance regarding miscarriage. It now states that progesterone can be given to certain women to prevent the loss of pregnancy.
Charity Tommy’s stated that the move would “help save lives of babies and spare parents heartache.”
Nice advised that women who have previously experienced a miscarriage or who have had their pregnancy confirmed by scan and are currently bleeding can receive 400mg of micronized progesterone two times daily.
Nice stated that if a foetus heartbeat is confirmed, progesterone treatment should be continued until 16 weeks after the termination of pregnancy.
Nice estimates suggest that approximately 7,200 women who have had a miscarriage or experienced bleeding during early pregnancy may be eligible for progesterone treatment each year. Tommy said however that the move could prevent up to 8,450 miscarriages per year.
The independent guidelines committee of Nice ruled that the hormone should not have been given to women who are experiencing early pregnancy bleeding and no previous miscarriage. It has demanded more research on these two areas.
The evidence does not support the idea that progesterone can cause harm to the baby or mother, but it is possible to have rare cases.
Jane Brewin, Tommy’s chief executive, commented on the update. “It’s great that Nice has taken our progesterone research aboard in their new miscarriage treatment guidelines. This will help babies live longer and save parents pain.”
“Miscarriage is often dismissed by healthcare professionals as “one of those things” that we can’t fix – even if they don’t specialize in the area.
“We have heard from women who were denied progesterone treatment even though they should have been eligible. This was simply because their doctor didn’t know about it. We hope Nice’s recommendation will end these inequalities in miscarriage healthcare that add pain to an already painful experience.”
Director of Tommy’s National Centre for Miscarriage Research at Birmingham, Professor Arri Coommarasamy said that the miscarriage care guidelines of Nice are a welcome development after years of research on progesterone use and trying to make it more accessible.
“Our research shows that progesterone can be a strong and effective treatment option, but it is not available to everyone who may benefit,” said Dr. Michael A. Smith.
“The new Nice recommendation is an important step towards addressing the variation in miscarriage service across the country and preventing such losses wherever possible.”