Predicting miscarriage risk

imagesA new study (with findings presented at the recent ESHRE conference) has suggested that blood tests within days of embryo transfer in IVF patients might help predict which patients are most likely to miscarry in  the first trimester.  While some people might prefer not to know, this could be a really important piece of information to help patient prepare psychologically for miscarriage, particaulry when there has been a history of pregnancy loss.  Read more about the study findings at

A simple test could tell women their chance of miscarriage just days after they conceive, a study suggests.  But now research has found that measuring hormone levels soon after conception can provide information about how viable the pregnancy is.

Glasgow scientists examined the levels of the hormone beta-human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) in more than 2,000 women who had just had a positive pregnancy test.  The hormone is specifically produced during pregnancy. It is made by cells formed in the placenta, which nourishes the egg after it has been fertilised and becomes attached to the uterine wall. In a healthy pregnancy, levels of it rise speedily during the first trimester.

The researchers found that those with the highest rates of the hormone had an 86 per cent chance of a successful pregnancy, when scanned eight weeks later.  This dropped to a two percent chance among those with the lowest levels of the hormone, the study by GCRM, part of the Fertility Partnership, found.

Experts at the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology conference in Geneva said the knowledge would help patients to prepare “psychologically and emotionally” for experiences which could be devastating.