Cause of recurrent miscarriage discovered and treatment options on the way!

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According to the news reaching us from University of Warwick, there is an established cause of recurrent miscarriage in women. This will solve a lot of worries for women in this regard.The researchers discovered that lack of stem cells in the womb lining is causing thousands of women to suffer from recurrent miscarriages.

The study which was a joint research by department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology at Warwick Medical School and Warwick Systems Biology Centre, ”may be the only way to really prevent miscarriages in these women”. The researchers noted that in women with recurrent miscarriage the ”ageing cells in the lining of the womb don’t have the ability to prepare adequately for pregnancy,” says Professor Jan Brosens, Professor of Obstetrics & Gynaecology at Warwick Medical School .”We have discovered that the lining of the womb in the recurrent miscarriage patients we studied is already defective before pregnancy”, he said.
He said correcting this will bring significant results as he demonstrated in his research which was published on journal Stem cell. “I can envisage that we will be able to correct these defects before the patient tries to achieve another pregnancy.”
Miscarriage or abortion is the loss of pregnancy before the age of viability (24w gestation by WHO & 28w in sub-Saharan Africa). It is described as recurrent or habitual if there has been 3 or more first trimester losses or 2 or more second trimester losses. Recurrent miscarriage is known to affect 1% of 100 couples attempting conception.

The researchers examined tissue samples from the womb lining of 183 affected women and found that an epigenetic signature which is typical of stem cells was absent in cultures established from womb biopsies of women suffering recurrent miscarriages. Fewer stem cells was found to be isolated from the lining of the womb of recurrent miscarriage patients when compared to other women without miscarriage in the study’s control group.This shortage was attributed to accelerate cellular ageing in the womb. With each cycle,each miscarriage and successful birth female linning renews itself and this capacity to renew is dependent on the availability of the stem cell, the shortage of these cells in the affected miscarriage patients led to the ageing of the tissue.

 This renewal capacity is dependent on resident stem cell population. A shortage of these stem cells in patients suffering recurrent loss is associated with accelerated ageing of the tissue. Ageing cells mount an inflammatory response, which may facilitate implantation of an embryo but is detrimental for its further development. Professor Brosens added that “after an embryo has implanted, the lining of the uterus develops into a specialized structure called the decidua, and this process can be replicated when cells from the uterus are cultured in the lab. “Cultured cells from women who had had three or more consecutive miscarriages showed that ageing cells in the lining of the womb don’t have the ability to prepare adequately for pregnancy,” he explained.

The researchers are presently focusing on a treatment which they believe will be helpful for women who have suffered recurrent miscarriage .“We will start piloting new interventions to improve the lining of the womb in the spring of 2016. Our focus will be two-fold. First, we wish to improve the screening of women at risk of recurrent miscarriage by developing new endometrial tests. Second, there are a number of drugs and other interventions, such as endometrial ‘scratch’, a procedure used to help embryos implant more successfully, that have the potential to increase the stem cell populations in the womb lining,” he said.

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University of Warwick
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