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Inherited Disorders and Birth Defects

Recurrent Miscarriages and Balanced Transloca

05/20/2009

Question:

Thank you for taking the time to read this. We have been to a genetic counselor and discovered that my husband has a balanced translocation on chromosomes 2 and 4. The Genetic Counselor said we would have a 73% chance of successful pregnancy; however we have had 7 miscarriages in a row without any success. The stats do not add up. Could there be something else going on with me? I know that I am a carrier for Fanconi`s Anemia. And my mother has a history of recurrent miscarriage and premature births from having a thin uterine lining. Is it common to continue to miscarry this often even with a balanced translocation?

Answer:

The information the genetic counselor provided about the risk for miscarriage in regard to your husband’s balanced translocation between chromosomes 2 and 4 seems to be correct. Theoretically, while there is a greater chance of having a pregnancy that does not carry the translocation or has a balanced translocation, it appears that in your situation you are coming up with the “other 25%+ chance” leading to a miscarriage with each flip of the coin. While it is uncommon, there are couples who have had 4, 5, 6+ miscarriages and then had a healthy pregnancy.

The other consideration would be if there is an additional reason for your miscarriages that is coming from your side of the family. There are a number other reasons to have multiple miscarriages, such as endocrine imbalances, immunological problems or being at risk for some of the blood clotting disorders. You might wish to talk to your doctor about being evaluated for some of these problems.

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Response by:

Anne   Matthews, RN, PhD Anne Matthews, RN, PhD
Associate Professor of Genetics
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University