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How Doctors Helped The Mother Conceive After 13 Miscarriages In 10 Years

Statistics reveal that about 10 to 12 per cent of pregnancies end in miscarriage. When an embryo or foetus dies before the 20th week of pregnancy, spontaneous abortion occurs. Although common, miscarriages can be emotionally and physically draining for the mother, and 8 out of 10 miscarriages occur in the first three months of pregnancy [1] . Some of the most common causes of miscarriage are certain illnesses like severe diabetes, infections, injuries, certain health conditions etc.

There are several types of miscarriages such as threatened miscarriage, inevitable miscarriage, incomplete miscarriage, complete miscarriage and missed miscarriage [2] . The uncertainty and fear surrounding the aspect of miscarriage cause women to lose faith in the event of it. However, that is not the case! A woman who has had a miscarriage is completely capable and adept at conceiving a child, with proper rest and care [3] . Women who have had a miscarriage often feel unable and scared to conceive another child, fearing of the analogous fate.

The story of Laura Worsley, a 35-year-old woman from Kenilworth, is the living example of this [4] . After suffering thirteen miscarriages in a period of 10 years (between 2008-2010), Worsley was able to conceive and deliver their child, named Ivy.

How Doctors Helped Her

With her initial miscarriage in 2008, Worsley suffered few more before she and her husband approached the Biomedical Research Unit at UHCW, where they were introduced to Professor Siobhan Quenby - the Director of the Biomedical Research Unit in Reproductive Health, Professor of Obstetrics at the University of Warwick, Honorary Consultant at University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire NHS trust.

Upon diagnosing her for the cause of miscarriage, it was reported that Worsley suffered from Antiphospholipid syndrome - also called as sticky blood syndrome, (a condition that increases one's risk of blood clots) which causes recurring miscarriages [5] [6] . The condition develops when the immune system creates antibodies mistakenly, which in turn makes your blood to clot. Not only does the condition accord to miscarriages but also stillbirths, premature delivery, slow foetal growth and high blood pressure during pregnancies. The treatment method adopted for the syndrome involves a combination of blood-thinning medications [6] .

Even while working with the team of doctors, Worsley had two miscarriages, at 17 weeks and 20 weeks, which led the doctors to carry out a test on one of the miscarriages. The tests revealed that, apart from Antiphospholipid syndrome, Worsley has Chronic Histiocytic Intervillositis (CHI), which causes the body to reject the pregnancy [7] , ruling out any hopes of pregnancy. The condition is also known as Chronic Intervillositis of Unknown (A)etiology (CIUE) and Massive Chronic Intervillositis (MCI) - and develops when the mono-nuclear cells such as the histiocytes, lymphocytes and monocytes infiltrate the intervillous space within the placenta, resulting in severe intrauterine growth restriction[7] .

But, that did not stop the doctors who advised drugs and steroids to strengthen the lining of her womb as well as to stop the blood clotting. These two methods worked successfully as Worsley was able to conceive (for the 14th time) and go into labour at 30 weeks [8] .

The prompt and adept medical proficiency of the team of doctors along with Professor Siobhan Quenby helped Worsley conceive naturally and give birth through an (emergency) Caesarean section. Weighing at just 1 pound and 7 ounces, Ivy was placed in a neonatal incubator in intensive care due to her premature birth but indeed is a 'miracle baby'.

As stated by Laura Worsley herself, "I cannot thank the research and the maternity teams at University Hospital enough, they have helped me to have the baby I always dreamt of. It feels like all of my Christmases have come at once. It's so important to be able to make a difference for anyone else going through what I went through." [9]

View Article References
  1. [1] Wahabi, H. A., Fayed, A. A., Esmaeil, S. A., & Bahkali, K. H. (2018). Progestogen for treating a threatened miscarriage. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, (8).
  2. [2] Giakoumelou, S., Wheelhouse, N., Cuschieri, K., Entrican, G., Howie, S. E., & Horne, A. W. (2015). The role of infection in miscarriage.Human reproduction update,22(1), 116-133.
  3. [3] Moulder, C. (2016).Miscarriage: Women's experiences and needs. Routledge.
  4. [4] Abrahamson. R. (2019, 24 June). Mom welcomes 'miracle' baby after 13 miscarriages in 10 years [Blog post]. Retrieved from, https://www.today.com/parents/mom-welcomes-miracle-baby-after-13-miscarriages-10-years-t157005
  5. [5] NA. (2019, June 14). Baby joy for couple who lost 13 babies to miscarriages. BBC News
  6. [6] Asherson, R. A. (2018).The antiphospholipid syndrome. CRC Press.
  7. [7] Mekinian, A., Costedoat-Chalumeau, N., Masseau, A., Botta, A., Chudzinski, A., Theulin, A., ... & Nicaise, P. (2015). Chronic histiocytic intervillositis: outcome, associated diseases and treatment in a multicenter prospective study.Autoimmunity,48(1), 40-45.
  8. [8] Maule, W. (2019, 25 June). Mom Overjoyed With ‘Miracle’ Baby After 13 Miscarriages in 10 years [Blog post]. Retrieved from, https://www.faithwire.com/2019/06/25/mom-overjoyed-with-miracle-baby-after-13-miscarriages-in-10-years/
  9. [9] SWNS. (2019, June 14). Woman who suffered 13 miscarriages in 10 years celebrates ‘miracle’ baby. New York Post.

Read more about: miscarriage doctors
Story first published: Monday, July 1, 2019, 19:15 [IST]
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