Pregnancy

Hope that a common antibiotic could end the heartbreak of recurrent miscarriages

A world-first clinical trial will examine whether an everyday antibiotic could help reduce recurrent miscarriages.

Hope that a common antibiotic could end the heartbreak of recurrent miscarriages

In a world-first trial, University of Warwick researchers will test doxycycline on around 3,000 women at NHS hospitals.

In the US and Germany, the drug is already used to treat recurrent miscarriage by improving the balance of bacteria in the reproductive system.

Scientists hope it will result in a potential new test and treatment for the condition which could help up to half of women who suffer recurrent miscarriages.

With two previous miscarriages, the risk of another miscarriage is 28%, and with three previous miscarriages, the risk increases to 43%.

Warwick Medical School’s Professor Siobhan Quenby, the principal investigator on the trial, said: “This is potentially a new treatment for up to half of people with recurrent miscarriage.

“We know that doxycycline is given to some women experiencing a miscarriage in other countries, but there has never been a proper trial conducted.

“And instead of just having your blood tested to look for causes of miscarriage, as is current practice, you will have the lining of the womb tested too so that we can identify those who will benefit from this treatment.

“Our aim is to try to improve the womb before you get pregnant.

“Most miscarriages occur within the first trimester – 12 weeks – of pregnancy and our aim is to see a reduction in these early miscarriages.”

The research will investigate whether a course of antibiotics prior to conceiving could reduce the likelihood of miscarriage in up to 50% of cases.

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