Pregnancy is a crucial period for about-to-conceive mothers. By default, pregnancies should last about 40 weeks. A premature birth or a preterm birth, by definition according to The Mayo Clinic database, takes place more than 3 weeks before the scheduled pregnancy. It’s not a bright thing to happen since it gives the baby less time to develop as it would have been possible while within the mother’s womb and can also cause medical, developmental, respiratory and brain related problems for the newborns.
A new finding, however, brings cheer. It could help millions of women around the world to avoid the risk of premature birth thanks to the hormone progesterone – administered vaginally – can reduce the premature birth possibility by an astonishing 42% in women who are at risk of preterm birth due to a natural shortening of cervix. These findings have been published in the American Journal Of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
As mentioned in Web MD, Roberto Romero, M.D., – chief of Perinatal Research branch of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development – claims that when the hormone progesterone is administered to women, it reduces cervix and prevents preterm birth to a large extent.
In the U.S, the preterm births have been on a rise. As compared to premature births in 1981, preterm births have increased by 9% and 12% in 2006. Today, 1 in 8 babies take premature births.
The Hormone progesterone plays a crucial role in pregnancy and helps in shortening cervix that helps in avoiding preterm births. It can be administered as a suppository, a gel or as a capsule. This hormonal treatment is also said to obviate the need for mechanical ventilation by 35% and help avoiding respiratory problems in newborns by about 52%. Babies, after taking birth post administration of the hormone treatment, needed much less post-birth intensive care.
Even women who’ve had a premature birth earlier can use the treatment to prevent any future preterm births. While it remains to be seen if this treatment can literally turn the tables around, it certainly looks safe, promising and full of potential which is likely to change the practice altogether.