A condition referred to as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) may result in stillbirths during pregnancy, a new study suggests.
PCOS is a common condition affecting 2% of the population which causes irregular periods and irregular ovulation.
But several studies have demonstrated that women with the condition who later became pregnant had an increased risk of miscarriage or stillbirth.
The new research suggests that blocking the tubes carrying the human growth hormone (hGH) may play a part in this risk.
The researchers, from Cardiff University and the Interdisciplinary Medical Research Institute in Bangkok, found that PCOS women who stopped taking the hormone hGH following the birth of their babies had a significantly increased risk of stillbirth.
However, in their research of 2,765 women, presented at the 20th annual World Congress of Endocrinology, researchers believe there may be a preventive solution.
They set out to see if the screening test for trisomy 21, which is the most common type of stillbirth and can be hereditary, would reveal the genetic strain that caused the condition in the womb.
Trisomy 21 occurs when there is a missing or incomplete chromosome or a split in a chromosome.
They found that women who had PCOS who followed a regime of avoiding as many foods containing protein as possible had a 20% lower risk of stillbirth.
(c) Sky News 2018: COVID-19 increases stillbirths during pregnancy: research