Pregnancy Tests that Predict Miscarriage

When Al told me about the possibility of an early pregnancy test that could predict miscarriage, alarm bells rang. Loudly.

Scientists have taken protein samples from 121 newly pregnant women and compared them. Using algorithms based on the proteins in their urine, they believe they can predict miscarriage; despite no-one really knowing all the various causes of miscarriage.

Predict Miscarriage

I have experienced two miscarriages in the last two years. My first was at 12 weeks and resulted in a SMM after a natural start. The second was at 8 weeks and happened naturally at home. Both miscarriages were heart-breaking but both in very different ways.

With our first miscarriage, the signs started showing in week 6. We were told by the hospital that there was a very high chance of miscarriage but that we had to wait and see. The 6 weeks that followed were indescribable. We had scan after scan, all inconclusive. We tried to carry on with life and think positively. We hoped beyond hope that they might have made a mistake. We wished for the small chance to be our chance. The 6 weeks of the unknown were hell on earth and we had to get through them alone. How can you tell others that you are pregnant (yay!) but that you are probably going to miscarry? (oh!) It’s a very lonely and confusing time and one that I would not wish on anyone. We continued to watch my body change and I felt increasingly pregnant with each day that went by. A good sign right? They must be wrong. Our baby was going to be ok. We rubbed it, we talked to it and we held such hope between us. It wasn’t ok though and at week 12 we lost the baby. Looking back on that experience, the weeks of hoping and wishing for something that then ended up being taken from us made it all the more difficult. We were exhausted from the emotional rollercoaster we were on and when it finally happened we were beyond devastated.

It seems to me that this test will put others in a similar position to ours. If women take this test at week 6 and are told their pregnancy will end in miscarriage then they would be signing themselves up for weeks of worry, pain and false hope. Even worse, they might decide to take the situation in to their own hands. And what if the results weren’t right? Everything surely has a margin of error. That does not bear thinking about.

Our second miscarriage was at 8 weeks. After a year of trying for another baby we had found out that I was pregnant a few weeks earlier and we were over the moon. When the miscarriage happened we had no warning signs, no time to worry or hope. No time to stress and drive ourselves crazy running circles around our minds. It happened naturally and quickly without weeks of build up this time. It was awful and painful and sad but somehow it was a little easier. Just a little. It came with the added emotions of anger and resentment that it had happened to us AGAIN. Anger that we had to experience this for a second time but on the whole the experience was easier.

In reality no two miscarriages can be compared. No two parents can be compared and no two women can be compared. We are all individuals, experiencing things in our own unique ways. But, for me, this test is not a medical advancement that we need. I do not see it as something that will improve our lives and our experience of pregnancy. It scares me. It scares me because the test might get it wrong. Even once. And that once might have awful consequences. I strongly believe that in some instances too much knowledge can be a bad thing. Despite the experts hoping to make sure it is 100% accurate, it feels to me like they’re playing with fire.

As a women that has experienced two miscarriages in the last two years I would not welcome the use of this test. Would you? I’d love to hear your thoughts on a matter that is so close to my heart.

(……Interestingly , and rather surprisingly, my husband came to the same conclusion as me. His take on the test can be read here)

 

If you’ve experienced a miscarriage, then take look at this resource for dads, on coping with loss after miscarriage.

 

 

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30 Comments

  1. Jeni Dibley-Rouse 24 September, 2015 / 9:29 pm

    I have experienced 2 miscarriages both in the 1st 12 weeks , the 1st was a shock, 2nd I knew the drill both the worse time of my life. Everyone knows the risks in the 1st 12 weeks and to be told you may miscarry from pregancy test is just wrong in my eyes as it takes all excitment away and as they don’t really know why people miscarry the stress is surely not going help? I would never take this test as I wouldn’t want to know.

    • Al Ferguson 26 September, 2015 / 8:24 am

      Sorry to hear about your miscarriages Jeni and thank you for sharing your views on such a sensitive topic.

  2. Jenny Barrett 25 September, 2015 / 2:21 pm

    I can’t agree more, carrying a baby for … any amount of time …knowing that it’s not going to survive would be just the cruelest thing I reckon. There’s no joy in any of this really but sometimes ignorance is (sort of) bliss.

    • Al Ferguson 26 September, 2015 / 8:22 am

      We completely agree. Thank you for sharing your views on this.

  3. Kate 25 September, 2015 / 7:29 pm

    This is such a tough one. A lot would depend on reliability etc. however, I think one of the biggest effects on the body is due to stress, so in this case perhaps if you were aware something bad MIGHT happen then the stress on your body may make it more likely that it WILL happen.

    • Al Ferguson 26 September, 2015 / 8:22 am

      We agree. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on such a difficult topic.

  4. JOhn Adams 26 September, 2015 / 6:59 am

    Mmmmm, yes, this troubles me. It simple seems to add stress at what is, for anyone, a stressful time. I guess there could be justified medical uses but it’s not something that should go out on general release. Thanks for hosting #BigfatLinky

    • Al Ferguson 26 September, 2015 / 8:21 am

      Completely agree. Thank you for joining us :)

  5. Luke Strickland 26 September, 2015 / 7:22 am

    I’m very dubious about that test, and no I don’t think I’d want to know either. Miscarriage is heartbreaking enough to add extra worries on top #bigfatlinky

    • Al Ferguson 26 September, 2015 / 8:20 am

      Exactly Luke. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this :)

  6. Alexandra Hurton 26 September, 2015 / 8:09 am

    I read this last night and it has been on my mind. I don’t think I would want to know. Every pregnancy should have some degree of happiness, no matter how it ends and I also think the added stress from a test like this would be damaging to the parents health. #BigFatLinky

    • Al Ferguson 26 September, 2015 / 8:20 am

      I completely agree Alexandra. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this. :)

  7. Tracey Abrahams (The Anxious Dragon) 26 September, 2015 / 10:56 am

    I agree with you whole heartedly. Unless this test can actually do something positive to reduce the chances of misscariage, why would it be of any use to anyone. Ive never been in that situation myself, but have supported a friend through a week of ‘were not sure if you have lost your baby or not’ it was a terrible time for her. #bigfatlinky

    • Al Ferguson 26 September, 2015 / 3:37 pm

      Exactly that Tracey. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and i am so sorry for your friend.

  8. Dawn of the Dad 26 September, 2015 / 12:21 pm

    Going through a miscarriage is destroying as it is, to have to go through it with the prior knowledge that it’s going to happen can’t be good for anybody’s state of mind.

    Thanks for sharing this ‘not-so-talked-about’ topic. It’s a taboo that needs to be broken.

    • Al Ferguson 26 September, 2015 / 3:31 pm

      Thanks for your comment. We’ve talked about our miscarriages quite a lot in the hope that we can help break that taboo. I completely agree with you.

  9. Random Musings 26 September, 2015 / 12:38 pm

    Firstly, I’m really sorry to hear about your miscarriages, I can’t begin to imagine how awful they must have been.
    If somehow, the results of this test could be used to help prevent the miscarriage then I would be all for it. As it seems this isn’t the case, I honestly can’t see the point in it. It turns your pregnancy into a ticking time bomb. The major concern for me is that stress and worry aren’t good for a pregnancy, and can contribute to the chances of miscarrying in the early stages, so if this test is wrong, you could actually worry yourself into a miscarriage.
    I’m an each to their own person, and if someone thought this test was a good idea, then I wouldn’t necessarily tell them not to have it, but for me, no good can come of this.
    Thanks for hosting the #bigfatlinky
    Debbie

    • Al Ferguson 26 September, 2015 / 3:30 pm

      Thank you Debbie. I completely agree with you. Thank you for sharing your views on this.

  10. jeremy@thirstydaddy 26 September, 2015 / 1:03 pm

    Experienced a very late term miscarriage a long time ago. It was completely devastating. I can see the benefits to a test like this if the idea was to expedite the loss of what would ultimately be a failed pregnancy, but I don’t think that is the intended purpose here. Sometimes it’s better to let nature do as it will and leave things alone

    • Al Ferguson 26 September, 2015 / 3:30 pm

      SO very sorry to hear that Jeremy. I agree with you.

  11. Silly Mummy 26 September, 2015 / 1:56 pm

    When I heard about this test in the news, I was a little confused. Because you are already pregnant, so actually what on earth are you supposed to do with this information? I don’t see the point when there is nothing you can do about it. If it correctly predicts a miscarriage, what has been achieved? If it wrongly predicts one, that is unnecessary worry, & stress is not good for pregnancies. #bigfatlinky

    • Al Ferguson 26 September, 2015 / 3:29 pm

      I completely agree with you. Thank you for sharing your views on this.

  12. James Hunt 26 September, 2015 / 5:29 pm

    Wow, can only imagine how heartbreaking a miscarriage must be, my heart goes out to you.

    I agree with your post and most of the comments, I can’t see the benefit of a test, unless it can help make a difference.

    Thanks for hosting the #bigfatlinky

  13. Something Crunchy Mummy 26 September, 2015 / 9:17 pm

    I personally don’t agree with these. A pregnancy test can be wrong so so can these. I am so sorry to hear of your loses #bigfatlinky xx

  14. Joanna @mumbalance 26 September, 2015 / 11:07 pm

    I very much agree with you. I’ve had an ectopic pregnancy and an early miscarriage at 6 weeks. I don’t think such a test is helpful. I don’t believe it can be 100% accurate. It will only bring pain and confusion. What are you supposed to do if the test shows you have high chances of miscarriage?
    There is an interesting project – Don’t talk about the baby. It’s a documentary in making about breaking taboo of miscarriage and early pregnancy loss. I have interviewed the director and I think you might find it interesting. It helped me deal with my losses. http://mumbalance.com/dont-talk-about-the-baby-project-interview-with-ann-zamudio/

  15. Ky 26 September, 2015 / 11:23 pm

    I can’t see how something like that can ever be 100% accurate. I definitely don’t think it’s a good idea, what if you got a result, and then spent ages worrying/stressing only to find out it’s wrong. It would be horrible. #bigfatlinky

  16. Adventures of a Novice Mum 27 September, 2015 / 6:02 am

    It’s mad what Science can tell us and all exciting most times, until you stop and think a bit more about it. I can’t even imagine how awful a miscarriage must be; to then have the added pressure of knowing in advance based on a test. Perhaps some folks will find it helpful, but I just see it causing even more pain, and uncertainity for many families. What about if the test gets it wrong too, as they do on those few ocassions; giving false hope of the natural ending of a pregnancy that isn’t wanted, or depression for a child that is wanted. I’ve got a post in the pipeline where I’m discussing my thoughts on this more.

    Thanks for highlight this very important issue and so sorry for your loss; I can’t imagine how so awful it must been. I pray for comfort as you walk through this very difficult path. #Facebook (off to share now).

  17. Becky (@attwtwo) 27 September, 2015 / 8:45 pm

    I’m so sorry to hear about your miscarriages. I totally agree with you about the tests though – the margin of error for me would be the problem – people terminating pregnancies which may have resulted in a healthy baby or trying to ignore the test and hope that everything will be ok. And what happens if the test predicts NO miscarriage but the woman miscarries anyway – can she sue the company for false hope?! It’s all such a grey area and not really one I think is necessary. Miscarriage is heartbreaking. But to warn someone that it is going to happen, to have them wait for it to happen is, in my opinion, simply adding to the heartbreak. #bigfatlinky

  18. Becky, Cuddle Fairy 28 September, 2015 / 12:16 pm

    I’m so sorry you had two miscarriages, I can’t imagine how difficult & heart breaking that is. I agree with the other commenters, I don’t think this test is a good idea at all, it’s too risky if the results aren’t accurate #bigfatlinky

  19. Alison 4 October, 2015 / 8:29 am

    Having experienced a miscarriage myself, I’m sorry for your losses. It’s a heartrending thing to go through, and it always astonishes me how common it is. I think the same way as you about this. What good could this possibly do? Perhaps there will be some couples who find having more time to prepare themselves could make them more able to cope, but for the most part I see a lot of opportunity for obsession and pain and worry. I’m afraid I’m a bit of a cynic, and I’m already wondering how much these will cost, and whether they are really an opportunity for the manufacturers to take advantage of the all too natural fears of couples who have had previous miscarriages and are afraid that they may have another. #bigfatlinky

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