The plight of pregnant women may just be lessened, now that a recent study has discovered a better way of checking viability early in the pregnancy.
Ioannis Gallos (University of Birmingham) and the rest of the research team claim that an ultrasound coupled with a single hormone test will yield more accurate readings as to the likelihood of a pregnancy reaching full-term.
Previously, pregnant women would only rely on symptoms such as vaginal bleeding or abdominal pain as hints that they’re at risk of miscarriage. However, these symptoms are experienced early on in pregnancy so there was no telling whether they will reach full-term or not. An ultrasound later could only do so much.
This prompted researchers to check hormone levels—specifically, progesterone levels—and see whether they exhibit significant changes that can indicate pregnancy viability. Research was conducted on 9,436 pregnant women who were yet to exceed their 14th week in pregnancy. After analyzing results gathered from a total of 26 studies, the team came up with the following findings:
Basing on ultrasound results, 73% of the participants had non-viable pregnancies. However, in women who were found to have progesterone levels of less than 3-6 nanograms per milliliter, 99% tested non-viable.
As published in the British Medical Journal, results are more reliable if ultrasound was used side by side with the progesterone test to evaluate viability, thereby guaranteeing a more effective diagnosis.
You can explore even more information on Ultrasound Safety.