Embryo growth during early stages of pregnancy could indicate risk of miscarriage, study shows
Monitoring the growth of embryos during the early stages of pregnancy could help doctors understand miscarriage, a new study reveals. The risk of miscarriage could be linked to whether or not an embryo has poor growth in the early stages of pregnancy. Researchers from the University of Nottingham took measurements from around 500 embryos during the first trimester, with the length being determined by the ‘crown-rump length’ (distance from the embryo’s head down to the top of the buttocks). To help the accuracy of the study, the embryos were all conceived through IVF so researchers could be sure of their precise gestational age. There was a mix of single and twin embryos, too. The researchers found that 77.8% of single embryo pregnancies that miscarried were growth restricted, while 98.1% that miscarry weren’t growth restricted. The story for twin embryos is a little different, as only 28.6% that miscarried were growth restricted. Dr Raj Mathur, consultant gynaecologist at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, remarked that the study made biological sense, according to the BBC. However, he agrees with the researchers that more research is needed. Other factors such as blood flow to the womb and the diet of the mum also need to be taken into account.
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