Last time my wife was pregnant, she was put on hospitalized bed rest at week 27 when her OB GYN discovered that Caroline’s cervix was only 8mm. It turned out that Caroline, unbeknownst to her, was experiencing contractions which had helped cause the shrinkage.
The good news is that after a week in the hospital, Caroline was allowed to continue her bed rest at home. The bad news is that once she got home, that left yours truly the thankless task of administering the progesterone shots which were needed to help prevent preterm birth. I hated giving those shots almost as much as Caroline hated getting them. We often wished there were another way. Now, there may be.
I just read an interesting article on the website DrugWatch about a new progesterone gel, Prochieve, that’s proven to be effective in prolonging pregnancies of women who are at risk of going into preterm labor. According to the National Institute of health (NIH), the gel reduced the risk of preterm birth by 45% when applied vaginally to women before the 33rd week of pregnancy.
“Risk factors for preterm delivery are thought to include short cervix at mid-pregnancy (10-20 mm), prior preterm delivery, multiple births and a maternal weight of less than 110 pounds…The gel, a form of naturally-derived progesterone, is applied daily from 20 to 23 weeks of pregnancy until 36 to 37 weeks or delivery. Progesterone is a hormone which is thought to play an important role in maintaining and prolonging pregnancy while the baby develops in the womb. Researchers believe that a lack of progesterone during pregnancy may cause short cervix and lead to early delivery, especially in women with other risk factors.”
Yep. It definitely could have helped Caroline. Not to mention me, the poor sap who was forced to stick a two-inch needle in the back of a woman who was hopped up on preposterous levels of estrogen. Talk about marriage testers. I’ll take the gel anytime. And it won’t even break the bank. If approved, Prochieve is expected to retail between $10 and $15.