Hormones for suspected impaired fetal growth

No evidence to show whether the unborn baby's growth improves when pregnant women take extra oestrogen.

Babies in the womb growing more slowly than expected (impaired fetal growth) may be receiving too few nutrients from their mother's blood. Hormones are chemicals produced by glands in the body for growth, metabolism (how the body uses food) and reproduction. Oestrogen (the female hormone) is thought to increase blood flow from pregnant women to their babies, thus potentially providing more nutrients. The review of trials has found no evidence to show whether the baby's growth improves when pregnant women take extra oestrogen. There is no evidence from trials on the effects of oestrogen supplementation on women and their babies.

Authors' conclusions: 

There is not enough evidence to evaluate the clinical use of hormone administration for suspected impaired fetal growth.

Read the full abstract...
Background: 

It has been suggested that oestrogens may improve fetal growth due to an increase in nutritional supply to the fetus from greater uterine blood flow.

Objectives: 

The objective of this review was to assess the effects of hormone administration for suspected impaired fetal growth and perinatal outcome.

Search strategy: 

We searched the Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group's Trials Register (June 2009).

Selection criteria: 

Acceptably controlled trials of hormone administration for suspected impaired fetal growth which report fetal, perinatal or maternal outcomes.

Data collection and analysis: 

Eligibility and trial quality were assessed.

Main results: 

No studies were included since none of the potentially relevant trials reported clinical outcomes.

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