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Study into preventing miscarriages

Suffering a miscarriage is devastating, but when it keeps happening it can lead to questions such as ‘why me?’

In a bid to try and understand the cause, women who have experienced recurrent pregnancy loss – with no known genetic cause – are being asked if they would consider taking park in a study being carried out by the NHS Trust which runs the maternity unit at Tunbridge Wells Hospital and the Crowborough Birth Centre.

Women aged 18 to 51 who have had a healthy pregnancy are also required to take part in the pilot study as part of a control group.

Volunteers will be invited to give a blood sample to be taken at Tunbridge Wells Hospital. During the appointment they will also be asked to fill in a form about past/current medical and reproductive history. Information provided will be completely anonymised for the study.

Free hospital parking is available for research appointments and free tea/coffee and biscuits will be offered to participants after a blood sample is taken.

About 15% of all pregnancies are miscarried, and of this percentage, 2-3% represents recurrent pregnancy loss of unknown cause.

Robert Reilly, Blood Transfusion Manager for Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust who is leading the study on behalf of the Trust, said:

For many women, the cause of this loss is unknown but if simple blood markers could be found that show risk of pregnancy loss, perhaps more helpful preventative treatment could be given to help women maintain their pregnancy.

Whilst we cannot promise that taking part in the study will benefit the volunteers personally, they may find it satisfying that they have played a part in much needed clinical research into an area of women’s health that causes considerable despair to a number of women and indeed their partners.

The research may also help medical science develop better understanding of the causes of this type of pregnancy loss for women that struggle to complete pregnancy either by natural or assisted means. It may also inform clinical investigations as well as find new therapies and possibly improve the psychological impact that this sad event has on people’s lives.

For more information about taking part in the study, please email Robert Reilly at rreilly@nhs.net or call 01622 227124.

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