Although most couples are blissfully unacquainted with 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 currently in the process of having a miscarriage, you may be wondering what caused the loss and worry about whether it’ll happen again. This article aims to answer the following questions:

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

There are many different reasons why miscarriage occurs, but the most typical cause for first trimester miscarriage is 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 then the sex chromosomes, X and Y). For a child to develop normally it is essential that it have exactly the right level of chromosome material; missing or extra material during conception or in an embryo or fetus could cause a female to either not become pregnant, miscarry, or have a baby with a chromosome syndrome such as for example Down syndrome.

Over 50% of most first trimester miscarriages are due to chromosome abnormalities. This number may be closer to 75% or higher for women aged 35 years and over who’ve 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 a lot 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 continue to have a healthy pregnancy rather than miscarry again. However, some women appear to be more prone to miscarriage than others. About five percent of fertile couples will experience two or more miscarriages.

Of note, the rate of miscarriage seems 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 before 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 refers to many different types of testing that can be done on the DNA in a cell. For miscarriage tissue, also called products of conception (POC), probably the most useful type of test to perform is really a chromosome analysis. A chromosome analysis (also called chromosome testing) can examine all 23 pairs of chromosomes for the presence of extra or missing chromosome material (aneuploidy). Because so many miscarriages are due to aneuploidy, chromosome analysis on the miscarriage tissue can often identify the reason behind the pregnancy loss.

The most common approach to chromosome analysis is called karyotyping. Newer methods include advanced technologies such as 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”. For that reason requirement, tissue that’s 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 mom (maternal cells) and cells from the fetus. In case a normal female result is found, it may be the right result for the fetus or it can be maternal cell contamination (MCC) in which the result actually originates 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 take a few weeks to months another from the laboratory.

Microarray testing is 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 able to test all 23 pairs of chromosomes for aneuploidy, but will not require cell culture. Therefore, you’re more prone to receive results and the results are typically returned faster when microarray testing can be used. Additionally, some laboratories are collecting a sample of the mother’s blood simultaneously the miscarriage tissue is delivered to enable immediate detection of maternal cell contamination (MCC).

infant loss Chromosome Testing – How do it help?

If a chromosome abnormality is identified, the type of abnormality found could be assessed to help answer fully the question: “Will this happen to me again?”. More often than not, 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 investigate 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 reason for the miscarriage.

Lastly, knowing the reason for a pregnancy loss can help a couple of start the emotional healing up process, moving at night question of “Why did this happen to me?”.

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