Link between biological clock and miscarriage

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A study discovered that age for both men and women would affect the risk of miscarriage. In this first of its kind study, older women and men are more likely to influence the outcome of the pregnancy. One in four women with early bleeding during pregnancy resulted in a miscarriage.

A study jointly carried out by KK Women's and Children's Hospital (KKH) and Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School (Duke-NUS) proved to be a first of its kind.

The study conducted among pregnant women here, discovered that a woman who experienced bleeding in early pregnancy is at risk of having a miscarriage.  However, that risk increases if she’s older, has a prior history of miscarriage and a low blood progesterone (hormonal) level during pregnancy.

One in four women in the study is found to miscarry if early pregnancy bleeding occurs.  Another discovery is that the age of the father-to-be is also a factor.  Those aged above 40 added an eight-fold risk of miscarriage, and a mother older than 34 years was two-fold more likely to miscarry.

One of the principal investigators for this study, Assistant Professor Tan Thiam Chye, said that from this, it could be inferred that the biological clock ticks not only in the mother, but also in the father-to-be.

The study was conducted among KKH patients from November 2010 to March 2011.  The findings of this study will be presented at the 6th KKH Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM) this Friday.  Assistant Professor Tan underscored the need for a larger study to validate the risk levels revealed by these preliminary findings.

As Singapore continues to face its baby woes, studies like this become highly pertinent in encouraging more women to start a family at a younger age.  At the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Women Leaders Network 2010, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong cited the desire for career advancements, be leaders in society, enjoy life and see the world as reasons why women put off starting a family.

However, with a better understanding of the negative relationship between pregnancy and age, would Singaporean women be motivated to reproduce earlier?

Tell us what you think.  Are children necessarily a hindrance to women who want to move further in their careers or is it possible to have it all?

Source: CNA, Prime Minister's Office

Photo credit: flickr.com - by virexmachina

 

For more related articles on pregnancy and age, see:

Moms Over 40

Pregnancy for older women, still possible?

Pregnancy concerns: Being pregnant over 35