New research shows the immune system may play a key role in women who have had repeated miscarriages. About 50 percent to 70 percent of all conceptions fail, and around 1 percent to 3 percent of couples experience recurrent pregnancy loss. While many of the cases are due to fetal abnormalities, others are due to the maternal response to the fetus. New research links the reproductive hormone secretion system to the immune system.
Researchers conducted a study where they put together a mouse model focusing on early pregnancy loss. The mouse model showed that a specific immune receptor is activated early in the pregnancy that results in the pregnancy loss. When they looked closer at the molecular mechanisms, researchers found the loss of embryo was due to a decrease in progesterone. Progesterone is the hormone responsible for preparing the body for pregnancy and maintaining it until birth.
Researchers say that their study shows that the immune system interferes with the reproductive hormones and that may contribute to pregnancy loss. They hope that these findings will provide new means of therapy for women who suffer from repeated miscarriages.