Super fertility offers clue to recurrent miscarriage

  • Posted

Posted 27/08/2012

It appears that some women may have multiple miscarriages because they are ‘super fertile’ and their wombs allow embryos to implant even if they are of poor quality and should be rejected. This is the finding of a team of doctors following a UK-Dutch study. One expert welcomed the findings and hoped a test could be developed for identifying the condition in women. Recurrent miscarriages, defined as losing three or more pregnancies in a row, affect 1 in 100 women in the UK.

Doctors at Princess Anne Hospital in Southampton and University Medical Center in Utrecht took samples from the wombs of six women who had normal fertility and six who had recurrent miscarriages. High or low quality embryos were placed in a channel created between the two strips of the womb cells. Cells from women with normal fertility started to grow and reach out toward the high quality embryos and poor quality embryos were ignored. However, the cells of women who had recurrent miscarriages started to grow toward both kinds of embryo.

It is believed that when poorer embryos are allowed to implant, they may last long enough in cases of recurrent miscarriage to give a positive pregnancy test. The theory will need further testing and will not explain all miscarriages.

Julie Crossley, a medical injury lawyer at Ashtons Legal, comments: “This would clearly explain the problem, and help women comes to terms with their losses, but it is not clear at this stage whether there is anything that could be done to prevent it from happening and further work on the study is awaited.”


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