New research may have revealed why some women have recurrent miscarriages and others can’t get pregnant at all.
Scientists have identified a protein – SGK1 – which if the levels in the body are too high causes infertility, and if too low can cause miscarriage.
The team from Imperial College London took samples from over 100 women and those with unexplained infertility had high levels of SGK1, whilst those who miscarried had low levels.
The discovery of this protein is a great breakthrough in understanding fertility and why some women have so many miscarriages, whilst others just can’t get pregnant at all. Unexplained infertility is more common than you may think – your tests are clear, there is no identifiable reason why you can’t get pregnant. And recurrent miscarriages – the loss of three or more consecutive pregnancies – happen to around one in 100 women.
But if you can be tested for your levels of SGK1, then you could be treated accordingly before trying to get pregnant, whether through natural means or IVF.
Of course, however, practically using this knowledge to help women isn’t going to happen for a long time. This protein has only just been pinpointed and as of yet, it’s not clear how levels of SGK1 can be regulated in the body to ensure a pregnancy develops as it should. But it’s still encouraging news that we may finally have an answer to the question asked by so many women – ‘why can’t I get pregnant’.
Last updated: 20th October 2011