You could soon be able to learn if you're likely to miscarry with a blood test 1 year ago

You could soon be able to learn if you're likely to miscarry with a blood test

Science has come a step closer to predicting, and therefore pre-empting, miscarriages.

Researchers in the US have discovered a technique that can determine whether or not a woman is likely to have complications during her pregnancy.

Molecules on the placenta bed, the lining of the organ that grows around the baby during gestation, indicate whether miscarriage or pre-eclampsia is likely to occur, they found.

A blood test can detect microRNA, molecules that are associated with problems with blood supply and other complications.

In studies that included 160 women, the test proved to be 90 per cent accurate in predicting miscarriage and pre-eclampsia and 92 per cent accurate in predicting premature birth between 34 and 38 weeks.

It accurately predicted premature birth before 34 weeks in 89 per cent of cases.

This means taking this blood test in early pregnancy could indicate potential future issues, arming doctors with the best knowledge for the woman's care throughout the pregnancy.

Unfortunately, miscarriage is difficult to prevent, but this development could help couples prepare for it.

The news was welcomed by Barbara Hepworth-Jones, vice chair of the UK's Miscarriage Association

"Much research is still needed before we fully understand the causes of pregnancy complications including miscarriage, and can then look for treatments," she told The Telegraph.

"But this holds real hope for the future."

The findings of this research were presented at the American Association of Reproductive Medicine congress in Texas.