Weekly progesterone shots from 16-36 weeks to prevent preterm birth? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 3 Old 07-17-2010, 04:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Has anyone heard of it or done it?
The obgyn I just left wanted me on that protocol. She briefly mentioned something about a trial and that in the future the probably won't start until 24 weeks and how safe it is.
First of all, I do not have an incompetent cervix. I had regular contractions with DS, not painful, starting at 24 weeks. I rested a lot and refrained from sexual activity, but at 30 weeks I had to start Terbutaline. It wasn't bad though. My cervix did shorten quite a bit, but it didn't efface/dilate until 35 weeks, which is when I was taken off of Terbutaline. I had him at 37 weeks and he was fine (just jaundiced). So I don't think I'm super in danger for crazy preterm labor, just keeping an eye on it of course.
I read about the progesterone shots on Wiki (I know, but it gave good references) and there it says several studies showed miscarriage galore and it was labeled as pregnancy category D drug and the FDA recommends no further trials. A study in rats showed fetal loss in all rats, with humans the group that received progesterone had way more fetal losses than those with a placebo. It's not licensed in Europe for the use of preventing preterm birth. I think it is cold 17 alpha progesterone or something alike...
I also checked the manufacturer's website and mentions no bad side effects and touts it as the solution to preterm birth....
Any input?
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#2 of 3 Old 07-19-2010, 12:16 PM - Thread Starter
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I did some googleing and it appears many obgyns in the US give that to women with prior history of preterm birth (I haven't, DS was officially born at 37+2, since the ob changed my due date).
I talked to my sister in research (MD PhD in pharma), and she definitely told me to not take that stuff. Way too little studies have been done and none of the recent ones look at potential harm, only at if it prevents preterm birth. There are so many potential side effects of hormonal treatment, especially in pregnancy with a developing body and especially brain, it is to be taken very seriously and cautiously.
She also can't believe how little this obgyn believes in informed consent, not telling me potential side effects. They don't know how it works, it's been off the market in Germany for too many open questions, and on and on and on.
And of course, the obgyn will make money off of me as a trial participant. That's probably what she really cares about.

I ran away from this obgyn for many other reasons, and this was just one of it... In case anyone is offered this stuff, please be careful.
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#3 of 3 Old 07-19-2010, 02:56 PM
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My ob/gyn and I discussed doing the shots, as I have cervical incompetence (no historyo prior pre-term birth, as this is my first pregnancy). She was kind of on the fence about whether or not it would help me, so I researched it myself and found limited information on exactly what the risks were. Ultimately, I did not do the shots, as my ob/gyn said it was questionable if it would help me and the maternal fetal medicine dr. said I did not need them. I have read a lot of women who have cervical incompetence/pre term labor have found that it helps. I believe the March of Dimes has some information about it on their site, but again, I was unsuccessful in finding out the potential risks to the baby.
If I had a prior loss or preemie, I might feel differently and would maybe have done more if I could figure out the risks, but we just concluded that they would not help me, given the studies out there. If you have any info. on the risks, I would love to see it.
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