Thursday, July 22, 2010

Miscarriage blamed on non-fussy uterus

I saw this article in Peter's New Scientist magazine (April 24, 2010 issue)...  A version of the text can be found for free by clicking here.

Miscarriage Blamed on Non-Fussy Uterus
Linda Geddes

London, April 22 (ANI): Human uterus seems to be highly selective when it comes to accepting embryos, for a new study has shown that women with less ‘fussy’ uteruses may be at higher risk of miscarriage.

For years, faulty embryos or problems such as abnormal clotting or immune responses have been blamed for miscarriages.

Jan Brosens at Imperial College London wanted to know if another process was involved.

He had noted that many women who had repeated miscarriages claimed to have conceived incredibly quickly.

“Each one of their pregnancies was conceived within one or two months of trying,” New Scientist quoted Brosens as saying.

Also, some studies have hinted that embryos implanting outside the normal window of uterine receptivity were more likely to miscarry.

For further investigation, Brosens and his colleagues took cells from the uteruses of women who had undergone miscarriages and ones who hadn’t.

They measured the expression of a key regulator of uterine receptivity called PROK1 and levels of prolactin, a marker of decidualisation - the monthly process by which the uterus prepares to receive an embryo.

Decidualisation involves a thickening of the uterine wall and the growth of new blood vessels.

Expression of PROK1 was higher in the women who had miscarried than in those who hadn’t and this was maintained for longer, suggesting that their implantation window lasts longer.

These women also produced far less prolactin, a sign that their cells don’t decidualise properly.

Further studies indicated that this impaired decidualisation interfered with the signalling between the embryo and the uterus at the time of implantation.

The researchers concluded that these uteruses are less picky, allowing abnormal embryos to implant, which later spontaneously abort.

The study has been published in the journal PLoS One. (ANI)


Jo said...

Wow, that's really interesting. It makes so much sense, since both our IVF's were "successful" and both ended in miscarriage. Because of Mo's MFI, these are likely the ONLY embryos my uterus has ever been introduced to...and it accepted both. Huh. Something to think about.


Malory said...

Wow what a different perspective. Very interesting.

Queenie. . . said...

This IS really interesting. Both of my m/c were after getting pregnant very quickly. Thanks for posting this!

quadmom said...

Wow this is really interesting, thanks for posting!!

Anonymous said...

Is anyone reading these posts anymore? My question is WHAT DO WE DO about this problem? I have had 4 miscarraiges in a row and got pregnant on the first try every time. Does the full article answer that question? I'm dieing for answers. This article was published on my first ( and only so far) child's birthday. So I'm having a strange connection to it now that I am having difficulty staying pregnant.

Michele said...

Unfortunately, I think the prevailing attitude among researchers is the sad (and anger inspiring) "You can always try again", and not as much research as those of us looking for answers want is being done. But there are groups out there trying to figure out why miscarriages (especially late ones) happen. For the most part, scientists believe that early m/c is a result of poor implantation or a poor combination of sperm and egg (either poor egg or sperm quality or chromosonal abnormalities)