New Miscarriage Details Just Make Moms-to-Be Worry More

Jacqueline Burt Cote

pregnant doctorMost pregnant women experience some degree of stress about the possibility of miscarriage; I know I did. But now researchers have figured out a way to predict which pregnancies are most likely to end in miscarriage, meaning ... pregnant women don't have to worry anymore? Not exactly.

Figuring out that a combination of two prenatal factors -- extent of bleeding and hCG levels -- can accurately determine whether or not a pregnancy is viable won't make the experience of going through a miscarriage any less difficult for women.

In fact, it's the women who are probably going to carry a baby to full term anyway who'll benefit the most from these results, as doctors plan to cut back on "wasteful" and "harmful" interventions like extra ultrasounds, blood tests, and progesterone supplements for women whose pregnancies have a "high likelihood of continuation."

I just can't help but think that it would be almost worse, somehow, to know ahead of time that the baby inside you most likely won't make it and to have to live with that sad knowledge. Doctors are hoping that by spending less time on unnecessary testing for viably pregnant women, they'll be able to put more of a focus on why women lose their babies in the first place and how to prevent miscarriages in the future.

But no test is 100 percent accurate, so I'm guessing that there will be a fair amount of women whose pregnancies are deemed "unviable" who actually go on to deliver happy, healthy babies. Unfortunately they will have spent most of those pregnancies in a state of fear, waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Would you want to know if you were having a miscarriage?


Image via Daniel Lobo/Flickr

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