Objective: To assess the impact of progesterone treatment on maternal and neonatal outcomes in women with a history of preterm birth and short cervical length diagnosed after 24 weeks of gestation. Methods: A retrospective cohort study included women with a history of preterm birth and a transvaginal sonographic cervical length measurement of ≤ 25 mm, diagnosed between 24+0 and 33+6 weeks of gestation. Exclusion criteria included prior progesterone treatment, cervical cerclage, or pessary. The study population was divided into the progesterone treatment group and the non-treatment group. Results: The study included 104 women, with 46.2% (48/104) receiving progesterone treatment and 53.8% (56/104) not receiving treatment. The rate of spontaneous preterm birth before 37 weeks of gestation was 43% (24/56) in the non-treatment group and 31% (15/48) in the progesterone treatment group (P = 0.14); the rate of spontaneous preterm birth before 34 weeks was 7% (4/56) in the non-treatment group and 0% (0/48) in the progesterone treatment group (P = 0.05). Progesterone treatment was associated with a significant decrease in neonatal intensive care unit admissions (OR 0.20, 95% CI 0.05–0.74) and in the neonatal hospitalization period (mean difference in days 2.43, 95% CI 0.44–4.42). The risk of recurrent spontaneous preterm birth was highest (71%) among women with two or more previous preterm deliveries who did not receive progesterone treatment, and lowest (24%) among women with one previous preterm delivery who received progesterone treatment. Conclusion: Progesterone treatment was associated with a reduction in rates of spontaneous preterm birth before 34 weeks of gestation, neonatal intensive care unit admission, and neonatal length of stay in high-risk patients, even when initiated after 24 weeks of gestation.
- admission to neonatal intensive care unit
- preterm delivery
- preterm labor
- short cervix
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