Hope in sight as di­a­betes drug tipped to pre­vent mis­car­riages

Pretoria News - - LIFESTYLE - | Daily Mail

A PILL for di­a­betes could be­come the first drug to pre­vent mis­car­riages.

Around a quar­ter of preg­nan­cies end in mis­car­riage, and one in 100 women suf­fer at least three in a row.

But hope is now in sight thanks to “sitaglipti­n”, which may pre­vent the womb-lin­ing from break­ing down so that a woman does not lose her baby. The daily pill re­cruits stem cells to the uterus, which are thought to top-up oth­ers that help to keep the em­bryo in place.

When it was used in a trial of 38 women who had suf­fered re­peated mis­car­riages, they had around two thirds more of th­ese vi­tal stem cells af­ter­wards.

A year later, eight of the 16 given the drug had given birth – a slightly higher rate than the seven out of 17 given a dummy pill who had a baby af­ter­wards.

Among those given the type 2 di­a­betes drug, which also helps con­trol blood-su­gar lev­els, just three had an­other mis­car­riage the next year com­pared to six not given it, ac­cord­ing to the study in the jour­nal EBioMedici­ne.

It is un­clear how many cou­ples could ben­e­fit, as ex­perts be­lieve most mis­car­riages are caused by a prob­lem with the fer­tilised egg or by the woman’s body re­ject­ing the baby.

But Pro­fes­sor Jan Brosens, a co-author of the study from War­wick Med­i­cal School at War­wick Uni­ver­sity, said: “There are cur­rently very few ef­fec­tive treat­ments for mis­car­riage, and this is the first that aims at nor­mal­is­ing the womb be­fore preg­nancy.” The break­through is based around spe­cial “de­cid­ual” cells in the lin­ing of the womb.

Ev­ery month, to boost chances of preg­nancy, the uterus gets up to 12 times thicker, which makes th­ese cells “stressed”. This in­flam­ma­tion is thought to be im­por­tant in trig­ger­ing them to sur­round a fer­tilised egg, so that it can em­bed firmly in the womb. But too many stressed cells pass on in­flam­ma­tion to oth­ers, which may cause the lin­ing to break down, caus­ing mis­car­riage.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.