Anyone who has experienced recurrent miscarriage knows it is an emotional rollercoaster like no other. The surge of hope when you see that positive pregnancy test, followed by the agonising weeks waiting to see if this one will defy the odds and carry through to term. And the devastation when it doesn’t.
To go through this again and again without understanding the reason why, might seem more than anyone could bear. It is testament to these couples’ desire to have a baby that they go on to try again.
Cause of recurrent miscarriage
Recurrent miscarriage affects around two to five per cent of couples, but the causes are varied and, in many cases, never identified.
Now a new study from a team of researchers in the States claims to have found a possible way to identify the cause of some recurrent miscarriages.
Next-generation gene sequencing
The Child Health and Human Development team was headed up by scientist Dr Rima Slim, at the McGill University Health Centre. They used next generation sequencing to identify the cause of miscarriage in a patient who had suffered sixteen miscarriages in fifteen years.
In the study, which was published in the Journal of Medical Genetics, they showed that the cause of each of her failed pregnancies was a mutation in a gene that plays a crucial role in egg formation.
How can this knowledge help?
Once the cause of recurrent miscarriage is known, then there is potential to find a solution. In this patient’s case, doctors discovered that the issue was with the formation of the egg itself. They were able to suggest that the couple use an egg donor and undergo IVF. This would give them the best chance of carrying a pregnancy to term.
How many people will this help?
The cause of miscarriage is not always genetic. When it is, the mutation may lie with the mother, the father or with the foetus itself. So gene sequencing could be time consuming and won’t help everyone.
However, it certainly represents some light at the end of a very long dark tunnel for couples experiencing recurrent miscarriage.
What to do if you’ve suffered repeated miscarriages
Here at Surescan, we specialise in women’s health and we have a dedicated recurrent miscarriage clinic.
Here, we can offer a full and thorough consultation and perform scans and blood tests to try and identify the cause of the miscarriages. We can also provide counselling and support and offer advice on how to improve your chances of carrying a baby to term.
We have a wealth of experience and expertise when it comes to treating this delicate issue and you can be assured that you will be in good hands.
For more information or to book an appointment, please contact us.