Scientists may have come up with a small ray of hope for women suffering the despair of recurrent miscarriage, reports the Telegraph.
A joint study between the obstetrics and gynaecology department at the Princess Anne Hospital in Southampton and the University Medical Center, Utrecht in the Netherlands looked at the womb linings of women who experienced frequent miscarriage.
What they found was, rather than not being able to carry a pregnancy, these women could be allowing embryos to implant that would not normally survive, but which give a positive pregnancy test. Normally fertile women would be more selective.
Professor Nick Macklon, a consultant at the Princess Anne Hospital and chair of obstetrics and gynaecology at Southampton University, said, “Only around 30 per cent of natural conceptions make it to a baby and the rest are lost early in pregnancy. Mercifully, most women remain unaware of these losses because they happen before they miss their period.
“When poorer embryos are allowed to implant, they may last long enough in cases of recurrent miscarriage to give a positive pregnancy test.”
Professor Macklon hoped the research would provide some comfort for women suffering what he described as “this extremely difficult problem” by giving a clearer understanding of why it happens and the realisation that they are not “bad” at carrying a foetus but too good.
“With much better understanding of how the female body selects – or doesn’t select – embryos, we hope to now explore ways we can fix this,” Professor Macklon said.