In the future, a blood test may help determine a woman's risk for having a miscarriage.
The heartbreak of miscarriage can only be surpassed by the anguish of multiple miscarriages. While many factors may ultimately lead to the end of a pregnancy, scientists have pinpointed one potential explanation for why it occurs.
A new study out of the University of Sheffield in England, and published in the journal Human Reproduction, has identified a protein called Syncytin-1, which according to Time.com, is involved in placenta development and likely helps to support an embryo's quest to thrive in utero.
- RELATED: What Causes Miscarriage?
As study author Harry Moore, co-director of the University's Centre for Stem Cell Biology, explains, "Recurrent miscarriages may be due to the embryo being unable to form the early implantation stage, and the levels of Syncytin may play a role."
He adds, "The significance of this is that the very earliest aspects of embryo development can affect what happens later in the pregnancy."
Researchers are quick to note more studies must be conducted to fully understand Syncytin's role in embryo development—and how the level of this protein impacts that process. But ultimately, the hope is that one day a blood test would be available to help doctors determine a woman's risk for miscarriage, and perhaps help her achieve a healthy pregnancy.
- RELATED: Healing After a Miscarriage
There's no doubt anything that offers hope to women who have suffered from pregnancy loss without knowing why is a very good thing. Here's hoping a "cure" for miscarriage is possible in the future.
Melissa Willets is a writer/blogger and a mom. Follow her on Twitter (@Spitupnsuburbs), where she chronicles her love of exercising and drinking coffee, but never simultaneously.