A remarkable new study has identified what has been described as a miscarriage gene. Testing for this gene is now available at IVF1.
Some couples suffer from a problem called recurrent miscarriage. This means that they have a problem which causes them to miscarry over and over. Despite extensive testing, a cause is not found in in half of the couples with recurrent miscarriage. There has been a lot of effort to try to identify genetic mutations in a woman that cause recurrent miscarriage. To date, there hasn’t been much success in finding a “miscarriage gene” and then proving that it causes miscarriages.
Recently, a group of scientists found variations in a gene called FOXD1 that make it ten times more likely for a woman to suffer from recurrent miscarriage. These variations were only found in women with recurrent miscarriage. FOXD1 has now been referred to as the miscarriage gene.
The study looked at 556 women with recurrent miscarriage for which no cause could be found. The control group consisted of 271 women who had at least one live birth with no history of pregnancy loss. First, the FOXD1 gene was isolated as a probable gene of interest. Next, they found variations in the gene that were only found in women with recurrent miscarriage – no women with live births had these variants. Three different variants were found. Finally, they showed that these variants resulted in adverse changes in the body that are critical for maintaining a pregnancy.
Overall, about 2% of the women with recurrent miscarriage had this variant. No studies have yet been conducted to look for a possible treatment for women with the miscarriage gene. However, IVF1 is treating these couples with a combination of dietary changes and medication based on who the miscarriage gene is thought to cause its problems.