Help in Preventing Miscarriages

Dr Shirley Bond shares her experience on why a miscarriage can occur and why low progesterone levels can be a factor.



Achieving a successful pregnancy is the first hurdle when starting a family, but sadly it is not always carried to full term.

Officially a miscarriage is the loss of a pregnancy that happens sometime during the first 23 week with around three quarters of miscarriages happening in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy (the first trimester).

The risk does increase with age with those under 30 having a 10 percent risk of miscarriage, age 35-40: 20 percent chance of miscarriage and if over 45 a dramatic increase to a 50 percent chance of miscarriage

The importance of progesterone

Progesterone is vitally important in maintaining a pregnancy as its role is to maintain and stabilize the lining of the uterus so the fertilized egg can implant.

In the later weeks of pregnancy the placenta makes large amounts of progesterone which maintains the fertilized egg, but in the first 10 to 12 weeks the placenta is not fully formed and the ovary has to make extra progesterone.

If the ovary does not do this for some reason then the lining of the uterus becomes unstable and is shed together with the fertilized egg.

If this is the cause of early miscarriages then using progesterone cream during the first 3 months of a pregnancy can help, but it must be remembered that there are many other causes of early miscarriages.

Women with a history of miscarriage may not be offered treatment until they have had 3 or more miscarriages so in those circumstances ensuring good progesterone levels by supplementing with progesterone before conception can only be helpful.