Women who suffer miscarriage know how painful it is, but when you’ve lost more than one babies, the pain become mixed with fear. You’ll become scared to get pregnant again for fear you might lose it again, and you try not to announce your pregnancy or get too attached to the baby.
You may keep asking yourself “why is this happening to me?” “What’s wrong with me? And how can I stop it from happening again?”
A new research has found answers to your questions. Researchers at the University of Warwick in the UK have found that women who have had like three to more miscarriages had a lack of stem cells, as well as stem cells that were unresponsive, in their womb, which they believe causes the womb to age prematurely. According to the research, this makes the womb unfavourable to an embryo’s implantation and growth.
Jan Brosens, a professor of obstetrics and gynaecology who led the team, said: “We have discovered that the lining of the womb in the recurrent miscarriage patients we studied is already defective before pregnancy.”
“I can envisage we will be able to correct these defects before the patient tries to achieve another pregnancy,” the professor continued.
“In fact, this may be the only way to really prevent miscarriages in these cases.”
Miscarriage accounts for most pregnancies and 1 out of 100 women trying to conceive suffers recurrent miscarriage which is defined as the loss of 3 or more pregnancies consecutively.
The good news is, women whose recurrent miscarriages is linked to low or defective stem cells can get treatment pretty soon.
The co-author of the study, University of Warwick Professor of Obstetrics and Honorary Consultant at University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire Siobhan Quenby, said: “The real challenge now is to develop strategies to increase the function of stem cells in the womb lining.
“We will start piloting new interventions to improve the lining of the womb in the spring [Autumn in Australia] of 2016.”
The first step is making a detailed test to pick up earlier even, then new and existing methods can be put together to make the womb more receptive to an embryo.
Drugs which will assist the stem cells to “turn on” and complete their function in assisting implantation will then be developed.
Endometrial scratches cited as possible treatment
A part of the answer to the question of recurrent miscarriage is a procedure known as an ‘endometrial scratch’ or ‘endometrial injury’ a procedure often used in IVF clinic but which sounds very much like something you’d want to avoid.
This procedure requires the doctor to scrape the lining of the womb with an instrument before an embryo is implanted and studies have shown that this procedure increases implantation rates.
An amalgamation of a number of good-quality randomised trials in the UK showed that between 28 and 48 percent of women achieve live birth after having an endometrial injury, compared to 26 percent of women achieving live births without the procedure.
The procedure produces result, although researchers have been unable to explain exactly how the procedure helps with implantation sometimes referred to as “spring cleaning the uterus.”
Yes, many studies are ongoing on the implantation issues women trying to get pregnant although Dr David Molloy, Medical Director of Queensland Fertility Group said although the results look promising, there’s more work to be done to understand exactly what role the stem cells may or may not have in implantation failures and multiple miscarriages, and then how that information can be clinically applied.
- Poor-quality embryos because of egg quality or sperm quality or both
- embryos that have a genetic deficiency that means they aren’t viable.
Are other causes of most miscarriages or failures to implant. For women with these issues, achieving pregnancy is more of luck, waiting for that one good embryo that ticks all the boxes, often using assisted reproduction techniques such as IVF.
But if you have been trying to conceive for a long time without an answer to your question of “why”you should still be excited about this new breakthrough even though the research work is still ongoing.