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According to Viennese researchers, differences in progesterone production provide important clues.

“Success looks different for me now,” stated US singer and pop culture icon Beyoncé recently with reference to her miscarriages. The mother of three spoke openly about it for the first time in the January edition of the magazine “Elle”. Miscarriages are still a taboo subject. According to recent studies, women experience more miscarriages than they give birth to children.

A research team led by Sigrid Vondra from the Med-Uni Wien discovered a new indication of a mechanism that should play a role in recurrent miscarriages (Journal of Lipid Research). The scientists examined certain cells that are involved in the production of the hormone progesterone during pregnancy. This plays an important role in the development of the placenta on the wall of the uterus. While the ovaries produce progesterone under normal circumstances, the placenta takes over production after around six weeks of pregnancy. This handover is a crucial factor in maintaining pregnancy.

Migrating cells important

Some of the cells in the placenta that produce progesterone migrate to the endometrium, where they are involved in restructuring blood vessels. In women who had multiple miscarriages, it was shown that migrating cells had lower levels of an enzyme that is essential in the conversion of cholesterol to progesterone. An indication that progesterone production in the migrating cells could be crucial, especially at the beginning of pregnancy. (APA / cog)

>>> Report in the “Journal of Lipid Research”

(“Die Presse”, print edition, January 25, 2020)

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