A researcher at Columbia University claims to be working on a test that is cheaper and faster than what is already available.
According to maternal health charity, March of Dimes, Miscarriage is when a baby dies in the womb before 20 weeks of pregnancy. Some women have a miscarriage before they know they’re pregnant. And, it is estimated that 10% to 15% of pregnancies end in miscarriage during the first trimester. Additionally, miscarriage in the second trimester occurs in around 1% to 5% of pregnancies. Even more, the organization suggests that many miscarry without knowing they were pregnant therefore as many as half of pregnancies may end in miscarriage.
The organization also notes it can be an extremely traumatic experience to go through and can leave parents asking many questions. They want to know the cause and how they can prevent another miscarriage from occurring among other looming questions.
The organization also indicates a number of potential causes for miscarriage such as a problem with chromosomes, issues with the uterus and/or cervix, and infections. Dr. Zev Williams is the Director of the Columbia University Fertility Center in New York, according to an article recently published by Forbes.
The excerpt of the research Dr. Williams is conducting reads as such:
“The focus of our research is in developing new technologies and innovations that can help prevent, diagnose, and treat causes of infertility and recurrent pregnancy loss and give the best possible chances for a successful pregnancy. Research programs include developing methods for non-invasive real-time assessment of placental structure and function by studying circulating RNA and innovating new sequencing technologies to enable rapid testing for chromosomal abnormalities in embryos, CVS and amniocentesis samples, and miscarriage samples.”
According to the article published by Forbes, the research Dr. Williams is working on will cost $200 and the team believes it is the quickest to tap into DNA from tissue samples, prepare that tissue for testing/sequencing, and determine results. It may not be able to answer questions for every miscarriage, but researches believe it will determine whether chromosomal abnormalities were responsible for the pregnancy loss. The device was developed by Oxford Nanopore Technologies and Forbes indicates it has the ability to be used for several things including COVID-19.
The charity, Tommy’s indicated that 71% of women are not given a medical reason to explain their miscarriage, stillbirth, or premature birth. Additionally, 82% of parents admitted to blaming themselves and 77% said they felt guilty.