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Keywords:

  • preterm birth;
  • progesterone;
  • survey of practice;
  • women's experiences

Abstract

Background and aims:  To assess the current use of vaginal progesterone in women at increased risk of preterm birth among practitioners within Australia and New Zealand, and the willingness of both clinicians and women to participate in a randomised controlled trial to further evaluate the role of progesterone in preterm birth.

Methods:  A survey of fellows and members of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, and women who had a spontaneous preterm birth at less than 34 weeks gestation, at the Women's and Children's Hospital was conducted.

Results:  A total of 1430 surveys were distributed to members and fellows, of which 738 (52%) were returned. Of these, 490 were from currently practising obstetricians (34% of total college membership). Twelve of the 490 (2%) respondents indicated that they currently use progesterone in women with a previous spontaneous preterm birth at less than 34 weeks gestation. Of the respondents, 317 (65%) indicated a willingness to participate in a multicentred randomised controlled trial assessing the use of progesterone in women with a previous spontaneous preterm birth at less than 34 weeks gestation. A total of 207 eligible women identified from the hospital database were sent a questionnaire, with responses obtained from 119 women (57%). Overall, women were satisfied with their preterm birth experience. Fifty-two women (44%) indicated a willingness to consider participation in a randomised trial of vaginal progesterone.

Conclusions:  Progesterone is not widely used in Australia and New Zealand for women considered at increased risk of preterm birth. Conducting a randomised trial of vaginal progesterone is feasible.