A randomized trial of progesterone in women with bleeding in early pregnancy

A. Coomarasamy, A. J. Devall, V. Cheed, H. Harb, L. J. Middleton, I. D. Gallos, H. Williams, A. K. Eapen, T. Roberts, C. C. Ogwulu, I. Goranitis, J. P. Daniels, A. Ahmed, R. Bender-Atik, K. Bhatia, C. Bottomley, J. Brewin, M. Choudhary, F. Crosfill, S. DebW. C. Duncan, A. Ewer, K. Hinshaw, T. Holland, F. Izzat, J. Johns, K. Kriedt, M. A. Lumsden, P. Manda, J. E. Norman, N. Nunes, C. E. Overton, S. Quenby, S. Rao, J. Ross, A. Shahid, M. Underwood, N. Vaithilingam, L. Watkins, C. Wykes, A. Horne, D. Jurkovic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND Bleeding in early pregnancy is strongly associated with pregnancy loss. Progesterone is essential for the maintenance of pregnancy. Several small trials have suggested that progesterone therapy may improve pregnancy outcomes in women who have bleeding in early pregnancy. METHODS We conducted a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial to evaluate progesterone, as compared with placebo, in women with vaginal bleeding in early pregnancy. Women were randomly assigned to receive vaginal suppositories containing either 400 mg of progesterone or matching placebo twice daily, from the time at which they presented with bleeding through 16 weeks of gestation. The primary outcome was the birth of a live-born baby after at least 34 weeks of gestation. The primary analysis was performed in all participants for whom data on the primary outcome were available. A sensitivity analysis of the primary outcome that included all the participants was performed with the use of multiple imputation to account for missing data. RESULTS A total of 4153 women, recruited at 48 hospitals in the United Kingdom, were randomly assigned to receive progesterone (2079 women) or placebo (2074 women). The percentage of women with available data for the primary outcome was 97% (4038 of 4153 women). The incidence of live births after at least 34 weeks of gestation was 75% (1513 of 2025 women) in the progesterone group and 72% (1459 of 2013 women) in the placebo group (relative rate, 1.03; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.00 to 1.07; P = 0.08). The sensitivity analysis, in which missing primary outcome data were imputed, resulted in a similar finding (relative rate, 1.03; 95% CI, 1.00 to 1.07; P = 0.08). The incidence of adverse events did not differ significantly between the groups. CONCLUSIONS Among women with bleeding in early pregnancy, progesterone therapy administered during the first trimester did not result in a significantly higher incidence of live births than placebo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1815-1824
Number of pages10
JournalNew England Journal of Medicine
Issue number19
StatePublished - May 9 2019
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'A randomized trial of progesterone in women with bleeding in early pregnancy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this