What Prevents Eligible Patients from Receiving Progesterone Therapy to Prevent Recurrent Preterm Birth


Objective: The use of intramuscular 17-alpha-hydroxyprogesterone caproate (17-OHPC) has been shown to be beneficial for the prevention of preterm birth (PTB) in women with a prior history. Not all patients with a prior preterm birth receive 17-OHPC. The purpose of this study was to investigate potential barriers to receiving this therapy. Methods: A retrospective chart review of those patients at our institution who received the diagnosis of “previous preterm delivery” in 2010 and 2011 was performed to see whether they were offered and received 17-OHPC. Patients were considered eligible if they had a prior delivery at less than 36 weeks of gestation secondary to idiopathic preterm labor. For those patients that were deemed eligible but did not receive therapy, an explanation was sought. Results: Sixty-six charts were reviewed in detail. Forty-three patients were considered eligible to receive 17-OHPC. The remaining had medical indications for delivery including premature rupture of membranes (PROM) (15), intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) (1), and hypertension (2). Of the 43 patients deemed eligible, 17 did not receive 17-OHPC. Of these, eight patients were not offered therapy, 2 patients declined therapy, 3 patients presented with therapy after 28 weeks (too late), and 4 received a prophylactic cerclage as their only therapy. There were no significant differences between the two groups. Conclusion: In an effort to increase 17-OHPC use among eligible patients, we must continually identify physician biases and patient barriers that prevent utilization of this intervention. In addition, patients who deliver preterm should be told the importance of presenting early in subsequent pregnancies in order to receive the full benefits of this therapy.

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Meyer, A. , Cipparrone, N. , Buras, A. and Parilla, B. (2014) What Prevents Eligible Patients from Receiving Progesterone Therapy to Prevent Recurrent Preterm Birth. Open Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 4, 395-398. doi: 10.4236/ojog.2014.47059.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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