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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2012 Feb;206(2):124.e1-19. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2011.12.003. Epub 2011 Dec 11.

Vaginal progesterone in women with an asymptomatic sonographic short cervix in the midtrimester decreases preterm delivery and neonatal morbidity: a systematic review and metaanalysis of individual patient data.

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Perinatology Research Branch, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Bethesda, MD, and Detroit, MI, USA.



To determine whether the use of vaginal progesterone in asymptomatic women with a sonographic short cervix (≤ 25 mm) in the midtrimester reduces the risk of preterm birth and improves neonatal morbidity and mortality.


Individual patient data metaanalysis of randomized controlled trials.


Five trials of high quality were included with a total of 775 women and 827 infants. Treatment with vaginal progesterone was associated with a significant reduction in the rate of preterm birth <33 weeks (relative risk [RR], 0.58; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.42-0.80), <35 weeks (RR, 0.69; 95% CI, 0.55-0.88), and <28 weeks (RR, 0.50; 95% CI, 0.30-0.81); respiratory distress syndrome (RR, 0.48; 95% CI, 0.30-0.76); composite neonatal morbidity and mortality (RR, 0.57; 95% CI, 0.40-0.81); birthweight <1500 g (RR, 0.55; 95% CI, 0.38-0.80); admission to neonatal intensive care unit (RR, 0.75; 95% CI, 0.59-0.94); and requirement for mechanical ventilation (RR, 0.66; 95% CI, 0.44-0.98). There were no significant differences between the vaginal progesterone and placebo groups in the rate of adverse maternal events or congenital anomalies.


Vaginal progesterone administration to asymptomatic women with a sonographic short cervix reduces the risk of preterm birth and neonatal morbidity and mortality.

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