A simple test could predict if a pregnancy is going to end in miscarriage – and all just days after conceiving.
This illuminating new finding was made by a team at GCRM Glasgow, where fertility experts analysed the effects of one particular hormone in pregnant women.
According to the research report, the team looked at the effects of a hormone known as beta-human chorionic gonadotropin. This chemical, created by the cells that form the placenta, is produced during pregnancy.
With levels of this hormone spiking during the first trimester of pregnancy, researchers theorised that measuring the level in the days after conception would give an accurate indication of how viable the pregnancy would be.
To put their theory to the test, the team analysed data from more than 2,000 women who had just found out that they were expecting. They then measured the level of beta-human chorionic gonadotropin present for each woman.
The results were fascinating; those women with the highest levels of beta-human chorionic gonadotropin had an 86 per cent chance of a successful pregnancy, when scanned eight weeks after their initial consultation.
The success rate dropped by 2 per cent, however, among those women with the lowest levels of the hormone.
This has led researchers to believe that measuring the level of this hormone in women who have just found out they are expecting, could give an accurate indication of whether or not they are likely to miscarry.
So, how could this help expectant couples going forward? Well, experts believe it may help to better prepare them for the potential trauma ahead.
Marco Gaudoin, Medical Director of GCRM, explained: “Couples undergoing IVF wait two weeks to discover if they have conceived, yet for some this will not lead to a live birth.
“The hormone level gives us a clear guide, helping us to counsel patients about the likelihood of a miscarriage, which in turn will help us to better prepare patients psychologically and emotionally.”
This is the latest pregnancy-related study to make headlines this month, with recent research suggesting an alternative solution for pre-eclampsia: aspirin.
A British medical study has revealed that taking a low-dose aspirin each night before bed can significantly reduce the risk of developing the condition.
Well, what are your thoughts on this latest research, mums? Be sure to let us know.