Although most couples are blissfully unaware of the statistics surrounding miscarriage, pregnancy loss is in fact quite common, with 10-25% of recognized pregnancies ending in miscarriage. If you have suffered a pregnancy loss or are in the process of having a miscarriage, you might be wondering what caused losing and worry about whether it’ll happen again. This article aims to answer the next questions:

What causes miscarriage?
How common is pregnancy loss?
What sort of genetic testing can be acquired for miscarriage tissue?
How can chromosome testing help?
Causes of Miscarriage

There are many different reasons 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 called “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 then the sex chromosomes, X and Y). For a child to develop normally it is necessary that it have exactly the right quantity of chromosome material; missing or extra material during conception or in an embryo or fetus could cause a female to either not get pregnant, miscarry, or have a child with a chromosome syndrome such as Down syndrome.

Over 50% of all first trimester miscarriages are due to chromosome abnormalities. This number may be closer to 75% or more 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 increase in women older than 35.

Pregnancy Loss – How Common could it be?

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 chance of having a miscarriage also increases as a mother ages.

Nearly all women who experience a miscarriage continue to possess a healthy pregnancy and never miscarry again. However, some women appear to be more susceptible to miscarriage than others. About five percent of fertile couples will experience several miscarriages.

Of note, the rate of miscarriage is apparently increasing. One reason for this can be awareness – more women know they are having a miscarriage because home pregnancy tests have improved early pregnancy detection rates in the last decade, whereas previously the miscarriage would have appeared to be just an unusual period. Another reason may be that more women are conceiving at older ages.

Types of Genetic Testing Ideal for Miscarriages

Genetic testing actually identifies many types of testing that you can do on the DNA in a cell. For miscarriage tissue, also known as products of conception (POC), the most useful type of test to execute is really 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 due to aneuploidy, chromosome analysis on the miscarriage tissue could identify the reason behind the pregnancy loss.

The most common approach to chromosome analysis is named karyotyping. Newer methods include advanced technologies such as for example microarrays.

miscarriage Karyotyping analyzes all 23 pairs of chromosome but requires cells from the miscarriage tissue to first be grown in the laboratory, a process called “cell culture”. Due to this requirement, tissue that is passed at home is frequently unable to be tested with this particular method. About 20% or more of miscarriage samples fail to grow and thus no email address details are available. Additionally, karyotyping struggles to tell the difference between cells from the mother (maternal cells) and cells from the fetus. If a normal female result is available, it may be the correct 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 another from the laboratory.

Microarray testing is really a new type of genetic testing done on miscarriage samples; the two most common types of microarray testing are array CGH (comparative genomic hybridization) and chromosome SNP (single-nucleotide polymorphism) microarray. Microarray testing is also in a position to test all 23 pairs of chromosomes for aneuploidy, but does not require cell culture. Therefore, you are more likely to receive results and the results are typically returned faster when microarray testing is used. Additionally, some laboratories are collecting an example 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 can it help?

If a chromosome abnormality is identified, the sort of abnormality found can be assessed to help answer the question: “Will this happen to me again?”. Quite often, chromosome abnormalities in an embryo or fetus aren’t inherited and have a low chance to occur in future pregnancies. Sometimes, a particular chromosome finding in a miscarriage alerts your physician to do further studies to research the possibility of an underlying genetic or chromosome problem in your loved ones that predisposes you to have miscarriages.

Furthermore, in case a chromosome abnormality is identified it could 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 can help a couple of start the emotional healing process, moving past the question of “Why did this eventually me?”.

Chromosome testing could be especially important for patients with repeated miscarriages, as it could either give clues to an underlying chromosomal cause for the miscarriages or rule out chromosome errors as the reason behind the miscarriages and invite their doctor to pursue other types of testing. For couples with multiple miscarriages determined to truly have a chromosomal cause, in vitro fertilization (IVF) with preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) testing might be able to help increase their likelihood of having a successful healthy pregnancy.