Hope for the best …but expect the worst: a qualitative study to explore how women with recurrent miscarriage experience the early waiting period of a new pregnancy.
ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE:To investigate how women experience the initial period of a new pregnancy after suffering recurrent miscarriage (RM). DESIGN:A qualitative study, nested within a randomised controlled feasibility study of a coping intervention for RM, used semi-structured face-to-face interviews. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed using a thematic network approach. SETTING:Participants were recruited from the Recurrent Miscarriage Clinic and Early Pregnancy Unit in two tertiary referral hospitals in the UK. PARTICIPANTS:14 women with RMs and who had previously participated in the randomised controlled trial (RCT) feasibility component of the study were recruited. RESULTS:Seven organising themes emerged from the data: (1) turmoil of emotions, (2) preparing for the worst, (3) setting of personal milestones, (4) hypervigilance, (5) social isolation, (6) adoption of pragmatic approaches, (7) need for professional affirmation. CONCLUSIONS:The study established that for women with a history of RM, the waiting period of a new pregnancy is a traumatic time of great uncertainty and emotional turmoil and one in which they express a need for emotional support. Consideration should be given to the manner in which supportive care is best delivered within the constraints of current health service provision. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER:ISRCTN43571276.
Project description:INTRODUCTION: Recurrent miscarriage (RM; ≥3 consecutive pregnancy losses) occurs in 1-3% of fertile couples. No biomarkers with high predictive value of threatening miscarriage have been identified. We aimed to profile whole-genome differential gene expression in RM placental tissue, and to determine the protein levels of identified loci in maternal sera in early pregnancy. METHODS: GeneChips (Affymetrix(®)) were used for discovery and Taqman RT-qPCR assays for replication of mRNA expression in placentas from RM cases (n = 13) compared to uncomplicated pregnancies matched for gestational age (n = 23). Concentrations of soluble TRAIL (sTRAIL) and calprotectin in maternal serum in normal first trimester (n = 35) and failed pregnancies (early miscarriage, n = 18, late miscarriage, n = 4; tubal pregnancy, n = 11) were determined using ELISA. RESULTS: In RM placentas 30 differentially expressed (with nominal P-value < 0.05) transcripts were identified. Significantly increased placental mRNA expression of TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL; P = 1.4 × 10(-3); fold-change 1.68) and S100A8 (P = 7.9 × 10(-4); fold-change 2.56) encoding for inflammatory marker calprotectin (S100A8/A9) was confirmed by RT-qPCR. When compared to normal first trimester pregnancy (sTRAIL 16.1 ± 1.6 pg/ml), significantly higher maternal serum concentration of sTRAIL was detected at the RM event (33.6 ± 4.3 pg/ml, P = 0.00027), and in pregnant women, who developed an unpredicted miscarriage 2-50 days after prospective serum sampling (28.5 ± 4.4 pg/ml, P = 0.039). Women with tubal pregnancy also exhibited elevated sTRAIL (30.5 ± 3.9 pg/ml, P = 0.035). Maternal serum levels of calprotectin were neither diagnostic nor prognostic to early pregnancy failures (P > 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: The study indicated of sTRAIL as a potential predictive biomarker in maternal serum for early pregnancy complications. Overall design: 10 gene arrays, 6 in control group and 4 in cases
Project description:<h4>Introduction</h4>Recurrent miscarriage (RM; ?3 consecutive pregnancy losses) occurs in 1-3% of fertile couples. No biomarkers with high predictive value of threatening miscarriage have been identified. We aimed to profile whole-genome differential gene expression in RM placental tissue, and to determine the protein levels of identified loci in maternal sera in early pregnancy.<h4>Methods</h4>GeneChips (Affymetrix(®)) were used for discovery and Taqman RT-qPCR assays for replication of mRNA expression in placentas from RM cases (n = 13) compared to uncomplicated pregnancies matched for gestational age (n = 23). Concentrations of soluble TRAIL (sTRAIL) and calprotectin in maternal serum in normal first trimester (n = 35) and failed pregnancies (early miscarriage, n = 18, late miscarriage, n = 4; tubal pregnancy, n = 11) were determined using ELISA.<h4>Results</h4>In RM placentas 30 differentially expressed (with nominal P-value < 0.05) transcripts were identified. Significantly increased placental mRNA expression of TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL; P = 1.4 × 10(-3); fold-change 1.68) and S100A8 (P = 7.9 × 10(-4); fold-change 2.56) encoding for inflammatory marker calprotectin (S100A8/A9) was confirmed by RT-qPCR. When compared to normal first trimester pregnancy (sTRAIL 16.1 ± 1.6 pg/ml), significantly higher maternal serum concentration of sTRAIL was detected at the RM event (33.6 ± 4.3 pg/ml, P = 0.00027), and in pregnant women, who developed an unpredicted miscarriage 2-50 days after prospective serum sampling (28.5 ± 4.4 pg/ml, P = 0.039). Women with tubal pregnancy also exhibited elevated sTRAIL (30.5 ± 3.9 pg/ml, P = 0.035). Maternal serum levels of calprotectin were neither diagnostic nor prognostic to early pregnancy failures (P > 0.05).<h4>Conclusions</h4>The study indicated of sTRAIL as a potential predictive biomarker in maternal serum for early pregnancy complications.
Project description:Recurrent miscarriage (RM) is the most common pregnancy loss in the first trimester affecting approximately 0.5-2% of women. It is a heterogeneous condition and remains an enigma as the underlying cause is still difficult to track down.This study was aimed to investigate the distribution of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) 308G/A polymorphism and its association with RM in females. The comparative picture was also demonstrated by comparing genotyping results with healthy control women having no history of miscarriage.This clinical study was conducted among 115 women aged 21-44 years with history of recurrence of miscarriage. The samples were collected from women attending the outpatient departments of various hospitals, nursing homes, and infertility clinics of this region. In the present study, 111 fertile healthy women aged 24-46 years with at least one live birth and no history of miscarriage were also included.Mean age of women with RM was found to be 28 ± 5.6 years by recall method, whereas it was found to be 30 ± 7.4 in context to healthy women with no history of pregnancy loss. In the present study, 66% of women with RM had homozygous wild type genotype (GG) while 30% and 4% of women had heterozygous (GA) and homozygous mutant genotype (AA), respectively. Among control group, 79%, 16%, and 5% of women showed GG, GA, and AA genotype, respectively.The current study supports the concept of TNF-α 308G/A variant in particular with reproductive failure, GG and GA alleles showing 1-fold risk association with RM (odds ratio: 1.86 and 1.43, respectively).
Project description:Objective To investigate the effect of anticoagulant treatment on pregnancy outcomes in patients with previous recurrent miscarriages (RM) who carry a methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase ( MTHFR) gene mutation. Methods In this longitudinal retrospective study, patients with RM were treated during pregnancy with either: (i) 100?mg/day aspirin and 5?mg/day folic acid (group 1); or the same protocol plus 0.4?mg/day enoxaparin (group 2). An age-matched group of triparous women without RM or thrombophilia was used as the control group (group 3). Results This study enrolled 246 women with RM (123 per treatment group) and age-matched controls ( n?=?117). The delivery rate was significantly lower in group 1 than group 2 (46.3% versus 79.7%, respectively). The miscarriage rate was significantly lower in group 2 compared with group 1 (20.3% versus 51.2%, respectively). In the control group 3, the delivery rate was 86.3% and the miscarriage rate was 12.8%. Conclusion Treatment with low-dose aspirin, enoxaparin and folic acid was the most effective therapy in women with RM who carried a C677T MTHFR mutation.
Project description:When trying to conceive 1% of couples have recurrent miscarriages, defined as three or more consecutive pregnancy losses. This is not accounted for by the known incidence of chromosomal aneuploidy in miscarriage, and it has been suggested that there is an immunological aetiology. The endometrial mucosa is populated by a variety of immune cells which in addition to providing host pathogen immunity must facilitate pregnancy. Here we characterise the endometrial CD8-T cell population during the embryonic window of implantation and find that the majority of cells are tissue resident memory T cells with high levels of CD69 and CD103 expression, proteins that prevent cells egress. We demonstrate that unexplained recurrent miscarriage is associated with significantly decreased expression of the T-cell co-receptor CD8 and tissue residency marker CD69. These cells differ from those found in control women, with less expression of CD127 indicating a lack of homeostatic cell control through IL-7 signalling. Nevertheless this population is resident in the endometrium of women who have RM, more than three months after the last miscarriage, indicating that the memory CD8-T cell population is altered in RM patients. This is the first evidence of a differing pre-pregnancy phenotype in endometrial immune cells in RM.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:Recurrent miscarriage (RM), defined by three or more?consecutive losses during the first trimester of pregnancy, affects 1%-2% of fertile couples. Standard investigations fail to reveal any apparent cause in ~50% of couples. However, on the basis of animal models and clinical studies, several hypotheses have been put forward concerning underlying mechanisms of RM: altered ovarian reserve, progesterone defect, thrombotic and/or endothelial dysfunction and immunological disturbances. Nonetheless, no study has yet reached conclusive beneficial clinical evidence for a potential treatment in unexplained RM. Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) is a molecule with extensive safety data during pregnancy. The pharmacological properties of HCQ (eg, antithrombotic, vascular protective, immunomodulatory, improved glucose tolerance, lipidlowering and anti-infectious) could be effective against some mechanisms of unexplained RM. Furthermore, eventhough clinical benefit of HCQ is suggested in prevention of thrombotic and late obstetric events in antiphospholipid (APL) syndrome, there are no data suggesting the benefit of HCQ in RM in the presence of APL antibodies. METHODS AND ANALYSIS:Taken all together and given the low cost of HCQ, the aim of this multicentre, randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind study is to investigate whether HCQ would improve the live birth rate in women with RM, irrespective of maternal thrombophilic status: (1) no known thrombophilia, (2) inherited thrombophilia or (3) APL antibodies. The primary end point is a live and viable birth. After confirming eligibility and obtaining consent, 300 non-pregnant women will be randomised into two parallel groups for a daily oral treatment (HCQ 400?mg or placebo), initiated before conception and stopped at 10 weeks' gestation. If pregnancy does not occur after 1?year, the treatment will be stopped. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION:Agreement from the French National Public Health and Drug Security Agency (160765A-22) and ethical approval from the Committee for the Protection of Persons of NORD-OUEST I (2016-001330-97) have been obtained. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBERS:NCT0316513; Pre-results.
Project description:Miscarriage occurs in 15-20% of clinical pregnancies. While chromosomal errors are observed in over 50%, causes of karyotypically normal losses are poorly understood. DNA methylation undergoes reprogramming during development and must be appropriately set to maintain a healthy pregnancy. We hypothesize that aberrant DNA methylation may cause karyotypically normal miscarriage, particularly among women experiencing recurrent miscarriage (RM). DNA methylation in first trimester chorionic villi was assessed in chromosomally normal miscarriages from women with RM (N=33) or isolated miscarriage (M, N=21), and elective terminations (TA, N=16). Differentially methylated candidate loci were identified using the Illumina Infinium HumanMethylation27 BeadChip array by comparing 10 RM to 10 TA samples. Follow up showed a significant increase in methylation in RM and M compared to TA placentae at the CYP1A2 (p=0.002) and AXL (p=0.02) promoters and decrease at the DEFB1 (p=0.008) promoter. Gene function analysis showed an enrichment of imprinted genes (p=9.53E-10) and genes previously associated with RM (p=9.51E-06). DNA methylation was evaluated at 7 imprinted loci using bisulfite pyrosequencing. An increase of outliers at these loci was observed in RM (3.9%) compared to M (0%) and TA (0.9%) (p=0.02), with increased average methylation at the H19/IGF2 ICR1 in M samples (p<0.0001). Altered DNA methylation in the placenta at specific loci, as well as global dysregulation in specific cases, may contribute to or be a consequence of placental insufficiency in karyotypically normal miscarriage. First-trimester placental villi samples from karyotypically normal miscarriages from recurrent miscarriage patients (N, N=10) and chromosomally normal elective terminations (PZET, N=10).
Project description:PURPOSE: One of the most common problems in reproductive medicine is recurrent miscarriage (RM). There is increasing evidence showing genetic susceptibility of women is an important risk factor in the occurrence of RM. In recent years, there is a growing interest in sulfate and its role in fetal development. A novel mechanism of SULF1 has been demonstrated for modifying the activities of some growth factors and signalling molecules that have major roles during embryogenesis. The aim of present study was to evaluate the association of SULF1 gene polymorphism (rs6990375 G > A) in Iranian patients with RM. METHODS: We established a case-control study of 200 Iranian women: 100 patients with the history of two or more RM as cases and 100 healthy women with at least two cases of successful pregnancy and no history of miscarriage as controls. The polymorphism was examined by polymerase chain reaction restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) method. RESULTS: The genotypic analysis between case and controls showed significant differences (p-value = 0.000). Allelic analysis showed no significant correlation (?2 = 3.36, p-value = 0.066). The heterozygous genetic variant was significantly higher among healthy women (OR = 12.67, 95% CI = 6.47-24.79). CONCLUSIONS: Our data showed that rs6990375 polymorphism of SULF1 gene could be among one of the factors related to RM in Iranian women. Further evaluation of this polymorphism may be important and need further studies.
Project description:Recurrent miscarriage (RM) is currently defined as two or more losses of a clinically established intrauterine pregnancy. Despite years of research, RM continues to be a clinically frustrating challenge for patients and physicians, and its etiology remains poorly understood. Accumulating evidence has suggested that epigenetic modifications are involved in early embryogenesis, and defects in epigenetic patterning contribute to the development of RM. Here, we studied the role of enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (EZH2) in the pathogenesis of RM and found that the EZH2 expression was significantly decreased in the villi from women with RM compared with that in control villi. EZH2 promoted the invasion of trophoblast cells. Moreover, EZH2 could promote epithelial-mesenchymal transition by epigenetically silencing CDX1. Both chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP)-PCR and dual-luciferase report assays demonstrated that EZH2 repressed CDX1 transcription via direct binding to its promoter region and then trimethylating Histone3-Lysine27. Furthermore, we discovered that progesterone, which is used extensively in the treatment of miscarriage and RM, increased the expression of EZH2 via the extracellular signaling-regulated kinase (ERK1/2) pathway. These findings revealed that EZH2 may regulate trophoblast invasion as an epigenetic factor, suggesting that EZH2 might be a potential therapeutic target for RM.
Project description:Abortion is a behavior that is stigmatized and difficult to measure. To improve reporting of abortion and other sensitive behaviors in the United States, the National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG) supplements the interviewer administered face-to-face (FTF) interview with audio computer-assisted self-interviewing (ACASI). This paper estimates differential reporting of abortion and other pregnancy outcomes (miscarriage, live birth) in the NSFG (2002, 2006-2010, 2011-2015) between women's ACASI and FTF interviews. Examining reporting of less stigmatized pregnancy outcomes can help understand the relative contributions of stigma and survey-level factors in reporting of abortions. More women reported abortions, miscarriages and births in the ACASI than the FTF interview. Differences in reporting were moderated by the length of recall. The ACASI elicited relatively more reporting of abortions and miscarriages among non-white and low-income women. Reporting ratios increased over time. ACASI is a tool that may work differently across time, for different measures, and with varying survey contexts.