Preterm deliveries and progesterone levels in pregnant women attending antenatal care in a health care facility in Sokoto state, Nigeria: a preliminary study


  • Mas’ud E. Sadiq Department of Biochemistry, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, Nigeria
  • Aminu L. Abubakar Department of Biochemistry, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, Nigeria
  • Almustapha Lawal Department of Biochemistry, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, Nigeria
  • Alkassim H. Ahmad School of Pharmacy, University of the Western Cape, South Africa
  • Nafisa Sada Department of Biochemistry, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, Nigeria



Antenatal, Malnutrition, Preterm delivery, Primary healthcare, Progesterone


Background: Progesterone related complication during pregnancy is currently being viewed as one of the underlying causes of miscarriages and preterm deliveries. Progesterone assay is often neglected during routine screening in antenatal clinics (ANC) in primary health care centres in Nigeria. This study was designed to monitor 40 volunteer expecting mothers between the ages 18-35 years with a history of child birth and to evaluate serum progesterone levels accordingly for pregnancy in second and third trimesters.

Methods: Volunteers were categorized according to their age and stage of pregnancy. Progesterone was estimated in serum collected from each volunteer using ELISA kits (Cayman chemicals, USA).

Results: The results showed that age disparity among subjects did not play a role in the observed progesterone levels in both trimesters. Second trimester progesterone levels (37.73±0.32 ng/ml) were closest to lower limits of reference ranges for second trimester pregnancy (25.60-89.40 ng/ml). However, third trimester average serum progesterone levels of 36.31±0.26 ng/ml fell below minimum values of 42.50 ng/ml expected in normal pregnancy. Three preterm deliveries were recorded among the monitored subjects while an incidence rate of 1:32 births was observed for all deliveries received at the facility within the five months period all monitored subjects gave birth.

Conclusions: The preponderance of low gestational progesterone constitutes a risk factor to delivery at term. It is recommended that local ANC programme include progesterone monitoring and therapy as an intervention strategy against preterm births.


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Original Research Articles