Although most couples are blissfully unaware of the statistics surrounding miscarriage, pregnancy loss is really quite common, with 10-25% of recognized pregnancies ending in miscarriage. Should you have suffered a pregnancy loss or are in the process of having a miscarriage, you could be wondering what caused the loss and worry about whether it’ll happen again. This short article aims to answer the following questions:
What causes miscarriage?
How common is pregnancy loss?
What type of genetic testing can be acquired for miscarriage tissue?
How can chromosome testing help?
Causes of Miscarriage
There are many different explanations why miscarriage occurs, but the most common cause for first trimester miscarriage is really a chromosome abnormality. Chromosome abnormalities – extra or missing whole chromosomes, also known as “aneuploidy” – occur because of a mis-division of the chromosomes in the egg or sperm involved with a conception. Typically, humans have 46 chromosomes that come in 23 pairs (22 pairs numbered from 1 to 22 and the sex chromosomes, X and Y). For a baby to develop normally it is necessary that it have the right level of chromosome material; missing or extra material at the time of conception or within an embryo or fetus can cause a female to either not get pregnant, miscarry, or have a child with a chromosome syndrome such as Down syndrome.
Over 50% of most first trimester miscarriages are caused by chromosome abnormalities. This number could be closer to 75% or higher for women aged 35 years and over who have experienced recurrent pregnancy loss. Overall, the rate of chromosome abnormalities and the rate of miscarriage both increase with maternal age, with a steep upsurge in women older than 35.
Pregnancy Loss – How Common is it?
Miscarriage is far more common than a lot of people think. Up to one atlanta divorce attorneys four recognized pregnancies is lost in first trimester miscarriage. The opportunity of experiencing a miscarriage also increases as a mother ages.
Most women who experience a miscarriage go on to possess a healthy pregnancy and never miscarry again. However, some women seem to be more prone to miscarriage than others. infant loss About five percent of fertile couples will experience several miscarriages.
Of note, the rate of miscarriage appears to be increasing. One reason for this may be awareness – more women know they’re having a miscarriage because home pregnancy tests have improved early pregnancy detection rates over the past decade, whereas in the past the miscarriage would have were just an unusual period. Another reason could be that more women are conceiving at older ages.
Types of Genetic Testing Helpful for Miscarriages
Genetic testing actually identifies many different types of testing that can be done on the DNA in a cell. For miscarriage tissue, also known as products of conception (POC), the most useful type of test to perform is a chromosome analysis. A chromosome analysis (also called chromosome testing) can examine all 23 pairs of chromosomes for the current presence of extra or missing chromosome material (aneuploidy). Because so many miscarriages are caused by aneuploidy, chromosome analysis on the miscarriage tissue could identify the reason for the pregnancy loss.
The most common approach to chromosome analysis is called karyotyping. Newer methods include advanced technologies such as for example microarrays.
Karyotyping analyzes all 23 pairs of chromosome but requires cells from the miscarriage tissue to first be grown in the laboratory, an activity called “cell culture”. Because of this requirement, tissue that’s passed at home is frequently unable to be tested with this particular method. About 20% or more of miscarriage samples neglect to grow and thus no email address details are available. Additionally, karyotyping struggles to tell the difference between cells from mom (maternal cells) and cells from the fetus. If a normal female result is found, it may be the right result for the fetus or it might be maternal cell contamination (MCC) in which the result actually comes from testing the mother’s cells present in the pregnancy tissue instead of the fetal cells. MCC appears to occur in about 30% or more of the samples tested by traditional karyotype. Results from karyotyping usually have a few weeks to months to come back from the laboratory.
Microarray testing is really a new type of genetic testing done on miscarriage samples; both most common forms of microarray testing are array CGH (comparative genomic hybridization) and chromosome SNP (single-nucleotide polymorphism) microarray. Microarray testing can be able to test all 23 pairs of chromosomes for aneuploidy, but will not require cell culture. Therefore, you’re more likely to receive results and the outcomes are usually returned faster when microarray testing is used. Additionally, some laboratories are collecting a sample of the mother’s blood at the same time the miscarriage tissue is delivered to enable immediate detection of maternal cell contamination (MCC).
Chromosome Testing – How do it help?
In case a chromosome abnormality is identified, the kind of abnormality found can be assessed to help answer fully the question: “Will this happen to me again?”. Usually, chromosome abnormalities in an embryo or fetus aren’t inherited and have a low possiblity to occur in future pregnancies. Sometimes, a particular chromosome finding in a miscarriage alerts your doctor to do further studies to research the chance of an underlying genetic or chromosome problem in your loved ones that predisposes you to have miscarriages.
Furthermore, if a chromosome abnormality is identified it can prevent the dependence on other, sometimes quite costly, studies your physician might consider to investigate the cause of the miscarriage.
Lastly, knowing the explanation for a pregnancy loss might help a couple of start the emotional healing up process, moving at night question of “Why did this eventually me?”.
Chromosome testing can be especially very important to patients with repeated miscarriages, as it can either give clues to an underlying chromosomal cause for the miscarriages or rule out chromosome errors as the reason behind the miscarriages and allow their doctor to pursue other styles of testing. For couples with multiple miscarriages determined to truly have a chromosomal cause, in vitro fertilization (IVF) with preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) testing may be able to help increase their likelihood of having a successful healthy pregnancy.