Possible new miscarriage link

A team of scientists have recently claimed that there is a link between miscarriage and how embryos grow in their early stages, and could possibly help to reduce the number of miscarriages that occur.

The research has come out of the University of Nottingham and has been led by Dr Shyamaly Sur. The study found that 8 in every 10 pregnancies that ended in miscarriages involved a fetus that had a restricted amount of growth during its first trimester.

Dr Sur has commented about a study, “This is one of the clearest studies to date which shows that restricted growth for embryos has a significant relationship to miscarriage. It is our hope that this research will lead to new methods for identifying pregnancies that have a higher risk of miscarrying and work out ways to prevent this.”

The team were monitoring over 500 embryos during the first three months of pregnancy. All of the mothers involved in the study had undergone IVF treatment as this allowed the scientists to determine the exact gestational age of the embryo. Using an ultrasound scan, the scientists measured the distance from the bottom of the babies buttocks, to the top of its head.

Nearly 80 percent of all pregnancies involving a single embryo that miscarried, did have a restricted amount of growth. 98 percent of those pregnancies which did not miscarry, did not have any restricted growth. The relationship between restricted growth and miscarriage is not very strong for those pregnant with twins, with only 30 percent of miscarriages being linked to restricted growth.

Dr Sur commented, “There are many reasons why there might be a restricted degree of growth during pregnancy. It is possible that it is an abnormality with the womb or the fetus itself. Further research is going to take place in examining the link.”