ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — The joy of pregnancy can quickly turn to fear when multiple miscarriages occur, especially when those miscarriages have no explanation. But researchers discovered why a woman’s blood sugar levels may be a factor.
As many as one in four pregnancies end in miscarriage each year, and it can be a heartbreaking experience for women.
"I felt kind of alone, even though I know my husband was there with me. And my family knew about it, but I felt alone because they weren’t experiencing what I was experiencing," shared Devani Conner.
After three miscarriages, Devani sought help from Dr. Mark Trolice, an infertility and reproductive endocrinology specialist and the director of Fertility CARE: The IVF Center in Florida. He understands what it’s like to be in her shoes.
"My wife and I went through 10 years of infertility — 10 years of struggle, of watching my patients cry during the day and my wife cry at night. And finally, we resolved by adopting our five children,” said Trolice.
Some miscarriages can be caused in part by hormonal problems, older age, and poor lifestyle like obesity and smoking. But 50% of miscarriages are unexplained. A study published in the journal Fertility and Sterility says that insulin resistance might be a culprit.
"What we're seeing is that in patients who have abnormal blood sugar control as well as prediabetes, and another word for that is insulin resistance, that may be associated with miscarriage,” continued Trolice.
High insulin levels are toxic to the placenta — the organ that develops in the uterus during pregnancy to provide oxygen and nutrients to the fetus and remove waste. Trolice said women who have had a miscarriage should be screened for blood sugar control.
"If that's abnormal, we get that more normalized with medication,” Trolice stated.
Along with medication, women can adjust their diet to increase their chance of having a healthy baby.
Although it was previously known that insulin resistance is linked to miscarriage, this study was the first to understand that the insulin severely damaged placenta cells. The common diabetes drug, metformin, can now be prescribed to help women who are at risk.