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January 09, 2020

Recurrent miscarriages could be treated by a type 2 diabetes medication, study says

Women's Health Miscarriage
Recurrent miscarriages treatment Source/Pexels

Researchers at the University of Warwick have found that a type 2 diabetes medication, known as sitagliptin, may help women who experience recurrent miscarriage by increasing stem cell production in the womb.

A drug designed to help patients with diabetes may also be beneficial for women trying to prevent miscarriages, according to a new study. 

A study published by EbioMedicine found that sitagliptin, a Type 2 diabetes medication, increases the stem cells in the lining of the womb which may help women who have experienced multiple miscarriages.

Women who have had two or more miscarriages are said to have recurrent miscarriages. While 60% of miscarriages are caused by an embryo receiving an abnormal amount of chromosomes during fertilization, some women experience miscarriages because of a lack of stem cells in the womb. These stem cells protect specialized cells, called decidual cells, that surround the embryo from stress or inflammation. 

In a clinical trial, researchers studied 38 women, ages 18 to 42, who had experienced on average five miscarriages. The women were either given 100 milligrams of sitagliptin a day or a placebo for three menstrual cycles. Researchers biopsied womb tissue at the start of treatment and again afterwards to quantify the level of stem cells present. 

They found that the women who took the medication increased their stem cell count in the womb by an average of 68%.  They also noted there was a 50% decrease in the number of stress cells that lined the womb. There was no significant increase in the control group. 

If sitagliptin gets taken to clinical trial for miscarriage prevention it would be the first medicine of its kind to treat abnormal lining of the womb. The medicine would be administered before pregnancy in order to normalize the womb and prepare it for a fertilized embryo. 

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