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Researchers think they have the answer why women suffer multiple miscarriages.

Professor Jan Brosens from the University of Warwick and his team have discovered that a lack of stem cells in the womb lining is likely responsible for miscarriages in “thousands” of women.

“We have discovered that the lining of the womb in the recurrent miscarriage patients we studied is already defective before pregnancy,” the professor of obstetrics and gynecology wrote in the study, published in the journal Stem Cells.

The team studied tissue samples from the womb linings donated by 183 women being treated at the Implantation Research Clinic, University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust. They found that an “epigenetic signature” common with stem cells was missing from the tissues of women who have suffered more than one miscarriage.

“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,” wrote Brosens. “Cultured cells from women who had had three or more consecutive miscarriages showed that aging cells in the lining of the womb don’t have the ability to prepare adequately for pregnancy.”

The team believes that this discovery will lead to treatments that will stimulate the function of stem cells in women without them—and they’re already working on new interventions.

“Our focus will be two-fold,” said Siobhan Quenby, study co-author and University of Warwick Professor of Obstetrics. First, they’ll work to improve how at-risk women are screened through 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.”

Added Brosens: “I can envisage that we will be able to correct these defects before the patient tries to achieve another pregnancy. In fact, this may be the only way to really prevent miscarriages in these cases.”

Full study – Lack of stem cells to blame for recurrent miscarriages 

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  • So glad that researchers are finally finding some reasons as to why miscarriage happens. Such a heartbreaking experience for any woman, especially when there is no apparent reason for it


    • So true. It’s a great start to figuring out how to help. Like with blood type and miscarriage- women with negative blood But positive blood babies used to miss carry but now it’s stoppable with an injection.

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  • So many women have problems carrying on a pregnancy. It’s fantastic when you read about researches that give more possibilities for these women to become a mum!

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  • This was a really interesting read, and would give hope to many! I personally had 4 miscarraiges prior to the birth of my amazing son. Testing was performed on me and 2 babies, but a cause was never found and I was told I was just one of ‘the unlucky ones’. To have a reason why it happens and not blame yourself, even knowing the blame is irrational, would help to stem an emotional spiral that many multiple miscarraige women suffer.
    xo

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  • This is good news for people who have struggled to sustain a pregnancy.

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  • I am glad a possible cause has been found. So many fear it is a fertility issue or hormonal imbalance…..or in some cases the cervix is weak and doesn’t cope with the movement and weight of the baby. A couple we know lost 3 babies because of that problem. They 4th time the surgeons inserted some stitches in her cervix.

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