Association of maternal serum progesterone in early pregnancy with low birth weight and other adverse pregnancy outcomes

J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2016;29(12):1999-2004. doi: 10.3109/14767058.2015.1072159. Epub 2015 Aug 28.


Objective: To investigate the association of serum progesterone in first trimester with low birth weight (LBW, birth weight <2500 g) and other adverse pregnancy outcomes including hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, preterm delivery, premature rupture of membranes at term, and preterm premature rupture of membranes in a general population.

Methods: We conducted a cohort study of 263 women with low-risk singleton intrauterine pregnancies who had a spot serum progesterone measurement in the first trimester in a Singapore tertiary maternity hospital. Study outcomes were retrieved from clinical records. Follow-up data were available for 131 women. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were performed to assess the association of low serum progesterone (<35 nmol/L) with LBW and other adverse pregnancy outcomes.

Results: Low serum progesterone was associated with a significantly increased risk of LBW (adjusted odds ratio: 5.28 [1.02, 27.3]; p=0.047). Low serum progesterone was associated with a significantly increased risk of hypertensive disorders of pregnancy in univariate analysis (unadjusted odds ratio: 8.43 [1.31, 54.2]; p=0.025).

Conclusion: Low serum progesterone in the first trimester is a significant risk factor for LBW and possibly other placental dysfunction disorders such as hypertensive disorders of pregnancy. Further studies with larger sample sizes are needed to confirm the associations.

Keywords: First trimester; gestational hypertension; placental dysfunction disorder; pregnancy.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Birth Weight*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Low Birth Weight
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / blood*
  • Pregnancy Trimester, First
  • Progesterone / blood*


  • Progesterone