Miscarriage is the most prevalent yet the least understood complication of pregnancy. University of Birmingham researchers are working to answer the questions that remain unanswered.

Why did it happen? 

Scientists led by Professor Arri Coomarasamy are investigating possibilities for cell-free fetal DNA to reveal chromosomal reasons for miscarriage at earlier stages of pregnancy than ever before. We are also advancing novel technologies to diagnose the role of sperm DNA fragmentation in pregnancy loss.

Will it happen again?

'We are evaluating the immunological phenotype to offer more accurate prognostic information to women with recurrent miscarriages.

'We co-ordinate early pregnancy research at more than 60 study sites across the country, in recruitment to randomised controlled clinical trials of the most promising therapies to reduce preventable miscarriages.’

Emotional trauma

He adds: ‘We aim to better understand the psychological effects of miscarriages and to influence policy for miscarriage management to help couples to better bear the emotional trauma of miscarriage and move forward.’ 

As many as one in four pregnancies end in miscarriage. With collaborators from the University of Warwick, Imperial College London and partner hospitals, Birmingham is dedicated to improving the lives of these families. More information about this work is available from Tommy’s National Centre for Miscarriage Research.