A breakthrough in recent research may have identified a cause for thousands of women who have been suffering from repeated miscarriages. 15-25 percent of pregnancies in England and Wales end in miscarriage in the first three months. 1 per cent of women trying to conceive miscarry three times or more, and with about half of these cases, the cause is unknown.
Scientists discovered that women in their test sample who have lost three or more consecutive pregnancies have a reduced number of stem cells present in their womb lining. Tests are being carried out to determine whether drugs developed to treat diabetes could be used to regenerate these cells. An endometrial scratch is an alternative procedure, where the lining of the womb is scraped, that could achieve the same effect. This is a procedure we offer here at Concept Fertility, and is very popular amongst our patients going through IVF treatment
Recent Studies Reviewed
These recent findings give hope to tens of thousands of women struggling with infertility in this way. Researchers at Warwick University discovered that a lack of stem cells in the womb accelerated the ageing of the tissue, meaning that although an embryo may be implanted, the cells around it cannot sustain its development, resulting in miscarriage. The team leader of the research that discovered this link, Jan Brosens, said that treating a lack of stems cells “may be the only way to really prevent miscarriages in this case”. His work has been hailed by many clinical experts as the first major breakthrough in miscarriage researcher for many years.
So What’s Next?
Clinical trials for this research are due to start in April, and are backed by the charity Tommy’s. Previous research has identified blood clotting, hormonal imbalance or an abnormally shaped womb as reasons for recurring miscarriages, but these only explain about 50 per cent of cases.