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Cervical pessary vs vaginal progesterone for the prevention of preterm birth in women with twin pregnancies and a short cervix: an economic analysis alongside a randomized controlled trial


Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol, 55: 339-347 (2020) – 2020-03-03

Le KD1Nguyen LK2Nguyen LTM2Mol BWJ3Dang VQ1,2

Published: 20 August, 2019

Author information


To compare the cost‐effectiveness of cervical pessary vs vaginal progesterone to prevent preterm birth and neonatal morbidity in women with twin pregnancy and a short cervix.
Between 4 March 2016 and 3 June 2017, we performed this economic analysis following a randomized controlled trial (RCT), performed at My Duc Hospital, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, that compared cervical pessary to vaginal progesterone in women with twin pregnancy and cervical length < 38 mm between 16 and 22 weeks of gestation. We used morbidity‐free neonatal survival as a measure of effectiveness. Data on pregnancy outcome, maternal morbidity and neonatal complications were collected prospectively from medical files; additional information was obtained via telephone interviews with the patients. The incremental cost‐effectiveness ratio was calculated as the incremental cost required to achieve one extra surviving morbidity‐free neonate in the pessary group compared with in the progesterone group. Probabilistic and one‐way sensitivity analyses were also performed.
During the study period, we screened 1113 women with twin pregnancy, of whom 300 fulfilled the inclusion criteria of the RCT and gave informed consent to participate. These women were assigned randomly to receive cervical pessary (n = 150) or vaginal progesterone (n = 150), with two women and one woman, respectively, being lost to follow‐up. The rate of morbidity‐free neonatal survival was significantly higher in the pessary group compared with the progesterone group (n = 241/296 (81.4%) vs 219/298 (73.5%); relative risk, 1.11 (95% CI, 1.02–1.21), P = 0.02). The mean total cost per woman was 3146 € in the pessary group vs 3570 € in the progesterone group (absolute difference, –424 € (95% CI, –842 to –3 €), P = 0.048). The cost per morbidity‐free neonate was significantly lower in the pessary group compared with that in the progesterone group (2492 vs 2639 €; absolute difference, –147 € (95% CI, −284 to 10 €), P = 0.035).
In women with twin pregnancy and a short cervix, cervical pessary improves significantly the rate of morbidity‐free neonatal survival while reducing costs, as compared with vaginal progesterone.


Economic analysis; morbidity-free survival neonate; pessary; preterm birth; progesterone