Many Miscarriages Are a Mystery. A New Test Could Give Answers Faster

A new testing method that costs less than $200 could tell patients within hours if a genetic abnormality caused their pregnancy loss

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Sherisa Rivera and her husband, Will Rivera II, will never forget the first and only time they saw their baby’s heartbeat on an ultrasound. After two unexplained miscarriages, the flutter on the screen at Sherisa’s obstetrician’s office about seven weeks into her third pregnancy was a welcome sight.

The Bloomfield, Connecticut, couple had no idea that less than 24 hours later, on Will’s birthday in September 2017, Sherisa would miscarry again, NBC News reports.

While miscarriages occur in up to a quarter of known pregnancies — and about 1 percent of women experience three or more miscarriages — it is rare for patients to learn the reason why. Chromosomal abnormalities are by far the most common cause, but genetic tests on fetal tissue cost thousands of dollars, and results can take weeks. In most cases, genetic testing is not even offered until a patient has had three or more miscarriages.

Advances in rapid genetic testing may change that.

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