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Miscarriage clue

24th August 2012

Researchers have come up with a new theory as to why some women have multiple miscarriages.

A British team, working with Dutch scientists, have suggested that “super-fertility” – where women are too good at letting embryos implant – may be a significant factor.

The research, published in the journal PLoS ONE, was carried out at the Princess Anne Hospital in Southampton and the University Medical Center Utrecht, where doctors took samples from the wombs of six women who had normal fertility and six who had had recurrent miscarriages – which is losing three or more pregnancies in a row and affects 1% of women in the UK.

High or low-quality embryos were placed in a channel created between two strips of the womb cells and cells from women with normal fertility started to grow and reach out towards just the high-quality embryos. But the cells of women who had recurrent miscarriages started to grow towards both kinds of embryo.

Professor Nick Macklon from the Princess Anne Hospital said: “Many affected women feel guilty that they are simply rejecting their pregnancy. But we have discovered it may not be because they cannot carry, [but] it is because they may simply be super-fertile, as they allow embryos which would normally not survive to implant.”

Dr Siobhan Quenby from the Royal College Obstetricians and Gynaecologists said the paper was important and will change thinking about implantation.

“It had been thought that rejecting normal embryos resulted in miscarriage, but what explains the clinical syndrome is that everything is being let in,” she added.

 

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