According to a new study, measuring progesterone levels in women with pain or bleeding during early pregnancy, is a useful way to help distinguish between a viable and non-viable pregnancy.
The results indicate that in most cases, low levels of progesterone in these women can rule out a viable pregnancy.
Progesterone test vs. ultrasound
Vaginal bleeding or pain occurs in one out of every three women in early pregnancy. When this occurs, ultrasound scans are usually used to test whether the pregnancy is viable or not, but this is not always accurate.
Some studies have suggested that a single progesterone measurement in early pregnancy may be a more useful test, but results have been conflicting.
To test this, a group of UK and Dutch researchers analysed the results of 26 studies involving over 9000 pregnant women.
According to the results, a single low progesterone measurement for women in early pregnancy, presenting with bleeding or pain can distinguish between a viable and non-viable pregnancy when an ultrasound investigation is inconclusive.
Researchers found that the progesterone test was less accurate in predicting viability of pregnancy for women with pain or bleeding who did not have an ultrasound. This according to researchers was because low progesterone levels may be the case in some viable pregnancies. For that reason, “the test should be complemented by another test to increase its diagnostic accuracy.”