Atinuke was 27 when she had her first miscarriage. Over the next few years, she went on to have two more miscarriages. Her third was the hardest.
She was devastated and depressed that she couldn’t do the number one thing her body was built to do. But few months after she found that a new research, published in Fertility and Sterility online in January this year, may provide hope for women like her who’ve suffered recurrent miscarriages.
The research found that 2/3 of women who used the hormone progesterone before getting pregnant went on to successfully deliver babies despite these women having had at least two previous miscarriages.
The research also stated the biggest study on the topic which involved 15 trials and over 2000 women and also showed that the risk of miscarriage wasn’t reduced if progesterone was commenced at the start of pregnancy.
This study is different, though, because the women started progesterone soon after they ovulated so even before they were pregnant but that there might be compelling reasons to start progesterone at that time, as it may affect your immune system and allow pregnancy tissue to more easily go into the uterus.
Therefore the possibility exists that if progesterone is commenced early enough it may prevent miscarriage but only if this is the primary reason why miscarriages are occurring.
While some women may benefit from progesterone, the difficulty is understanding which women they are. That’s because there is no standard test that can determine who will benefit from its use.
So should you ask your doctor if you should try it?
That depends, it’s devastating to suffer a miscarriage, those who have had one miscarriage don’t need further investigations or treatment. Miscarriages are unfortunately very common, and that most of them occur as “nature’s way of preventing a pregnancy that would not continue to term, often as a result of major chromosomal abnormalities”.
So if you’ve had one miscarriage, the best thing you can do is to simply start trying again (as soon as you and your partner are ready). But if you’ve had two or more miscarriages, it is best to seek advice to see if there’s a reason why they happened. Those reasons could include structural abnormalities of the uterus (such as fibroids, or a uterine septum), genetic abnormalities, hormonal, clotting or immune issues.
As for Atinuke, she was referred to a fertility specialist after her third miscarriage. While her doctor didn’t recommend progesterone, she fell pregnant again and is thrilled to report she is currently 16 weeks along and her doctor says everything’s “looking good”.
Had she been offered it, Tinuke says she would have gladly used progesterone in the hopes it may have spared her the “heartbreak” she’s been through.
She hopes this new research may prevent other moms from going through the same pain she experienced.