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Common Treatment to Prevent Recurrent Miscarriage Doesn't Work

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The women were followed for 12 months. Failure of treatment was defined as either the inability to become pregnant within the study period or a pregnancy loss before 28 weeks of gestation. Successful treatment was defined as a pregnancy of 28 or more weeks of gestation. The study included two analyses: one consisted of all women, and the other consisted only of women who became pregnant.

Of the 171 women who completed the study, 36% of the treated participants met with success, compared with 48% of the controls -- roughly indicating that no treatment was better than the treatment studied. This trend continued among women who became pregnant: 46% of the treatment group sustained their pregnancies compared with 65% of the control group.

"Our final sample was smaller than we had originally planned," Ober tells WebMD. "However, the pregnancy loss rates were so much higher in the treated group that, even had we been able to continue to recruit more subjects, the best we could have hoped for was no difference between the groups." Instead, a significantly higher rate of success was found in the control group.

"This study was very well done, by being placebo-controlled, and serves as a model for other studies," Sandra Carson, MD, tells WebMD. "All of our studies on spontaneous abortion need to be done just like this." Carson, an infertility specialist and a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, was contacted by WebMD for comment and was not involved in the study.

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