Can Hormone therapy save your pregnancy?

In some pregnancies, the OBGYN may prescribe hormone treatment to keep the pregnancy. There are often many questions about these treatments. In this article, I will clarify the use of hormone treatments during pregnancy, the side effects, and the benefits during pregnancy.

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Cherifa Sharaf
Published on:May 21st 2023 |Updated on:Jan 10th 2024
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What hormone is given to prevent miscarriage?

Progesterone is often prescribed when there is a risk of miscarriage or preterm labor. Progesterone is a hormone naturally produced in the second half of the menstrual cycle, after ovulation. During pregnancy and its early stages, it is produced in the sack formed after the formation of the embryo, until the placenta is mature enough to produce it. Progesterone plays a key role during pregnancy by: 

  • Preparing the endometrium to receive the embryo and helping it grow into a fetus.
  • Supporting the continuation of pregnancy.
  • Increasing the thickness of the endometrium and creating a suitable environment for the embryo.
  • When the endometrium’s thickness increases it becomes rich in blood vessels that nourish the embryo until the placenta develops to take this role in feeding the fetus during pregnancy. Then the placenta produces progesterone throughout pregnancy, and it reaches the highest levels during the third trimester.
  • Progesterone prevents contractions that cause miscarriage and preterm labor.
  • Preparing the breasts for breastfeeding.
  • Supporting thyroid functions.

Benefits of Hormone treatment

The most recent studies done on Progesterone and its role in maintaining pregnancies proved that when it is taken during the first trimester, in cases where there is a history of miscarriages, progesterone is effective in preventing pregnancy loss. And in cases where there is a history of preterm labor, the hormone treatment is effective in preventing them when taken during the second half of the pregnancy. However, these same studies showed that Progesterone is not effective in preventing pregnancy loss when there is bleeding and other miscarriage symptoms during the first trimester. There are ongoing studies on progestins (the drug form of Progesterone) and their role in protecting pregnancies as it is a widely used hormone treatment.

Types of progestins

  • Pills.
  • Suppositories.
  • Injections.
  • Gel.

Taking pills means they will have to go through the liver, which causes side effects. The other types of progestins are absorbed away from the digestive system, which causes fewer side effects. We prefer prescribing suppositories to our patients as they have a better effect, while many patients prefer pills, so the prescribed type depends on the case.

Does Hormone treatment guarantee the continuation of pregnancy?

Nothing can guarantee the continuation of pregnancy, Hormone therapy is prescribed to attempt to prevent the reoccurrence of miscarriage and preterm labor.

Is Dophaston harmful to the baby?

Dophaston pills are widely prescribed, and they are safe for the mother and baby when taken upon the doctor’s recommendation.

Check out Ectopic Pregnancy: All you need to know

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Cherifa SharafObstetrics & Gynecology Consultant

Consultant of obstetrics, gynecology & Infertility, with years of experience in women’s healthcare. Dr.Cherifa is practicing at Qasr El Eyni Hospital/ Cairo University in addition to several other hospitals and centers in Cairo Egypt. She holds a Ph.D. in medicine from Cairo University in addition to the European Diploma of Operative Gynecology from Clermont-Ferrand, France, and Diploma of Management of Infertility from Antoine Béclère Faculty of Medicine Paris, France. Dr. Cherifa is very passionate about providing the appropriate health care to women and believes the overall health of a woman is key to her reproductive and maternal health. She is a strong believer in the importance of raising women’s awareness and educating them about everything related to health in general and reproductive health in particular.

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