The Surprising Link Between Miscarriages and Your Biological Clock

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By Anisa Arsenault, Associate Editor
Updated March 2, 2017
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When it comes to getting pregnant, timing is everything. But we don’t have a whole lot of control surrounding that timing.

A new study released today from the University of Warwick found the synchronization of a mother’s body clock and her womb’s clock is essential to carrying a pregnancy to full term. Failed synchronization can switch off body clock genes that line the womb, jeopardizing a pregnancy.

Wondering what body clock genes are, and why your body has more than one “clock?” “Clock genes” work by coding proteins that rise and fall in rhythmic patterns. They control all different functions, like when we sleep and rest, body temperature, hormone secretion and so on. And apparently, they play a roll in whether or not you’re going to miscarry.

“Approximately one in seven clinical pregnancies result in miscarriage, mostly prior to 12 weeks of pregnancy,” says researcher Jan Brosens, MD. “It is estimated that five percent of women experience two clinical miscarriages and approximately one percent have three or more losses. From a medical perspective, recurrent miscarriages and implantation failure have remained frustratingly devoid of effective therapeutic strategies.”

And now, there’s a reason behind multiple miscarriages: out-of-sync clocks. Even smaller defects in synchronization can have negative effects, causing preterm labor or preeclampsia. Researchers are hopeful this information will eventually yield more positive outcomes for moms-to-be.

“We hope that it will increase worldwide knowledge about possible reasons for infertility and recurrent miscarriages, so that we are able to help families achieve their dream of having children,” says Professor Siobhan Quenby, Consultant Obstetrician at Warwick Medical School.

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