Recurrent Miscarriage Causes: Look Beyond the Woman

Recurrent miscarriages have numerous causes making them difficult to isolate. The causes of recurrent miscarriage may also be multifaceted – and often are.

While the topic of recurrent miscarriage causes has no end in site due to continued research, a major point needs to be addressed which is often overlooked.

Causes of recurrent miscarriages go beyond the condition of the woman and her genetics.

To make this point clearly and succinctly, the following are two causes of recurrent miscarriages that extend beyond the health status of the woman:

  1. Genetics of the Man
  2. Methylation Status of the Fetus

Let’s get into detail.

Genetics of the Man
A Turkish study[1] found that recurrent miscarriage causes “is related to combined parental (not only maternal) thrombophilic gene mutations. . . . heterozygosity of FVL, FVR2, ACE, and ApoE2 genes in both parents play crucial role in RPL (recurrent pregnancy loss) and should be considered as a risk factor in RPL.”

What does this mean?
This means that the genetics passed from the father have a direct connection in the blood clotting risk in the developing child.

What to do?

  • Have your doctor evaluate the placenta and umbilical cord for blood clots
  • Ask for genetic testing for both man and woman
  • Take precautions and talk with your doctor about taking baby aspirin, Lovenox or nattokinase during pregnancy.

Methylation Status of the Developing Child
A study from China[2] published in BMC Medicine states “that defects in DNA maintenance methylation in the embryo, not in the mother, are associated with abnormal embryonic implantation and development. The findings of the current study provide new insights into the etiology of early pregnancy loss (EPL). . . . We also found that disturbance of maintenance methylation with a DNMT1 inhibitor may result in a decreased global DNA methylation level and impaired embryonic development in the mouse model, and inhibit in vitro embryo attachment to endometrial cells.”

What does this mean?
This means that methylation in the developing child is directly correlated to a healthy pregnancy outcome – regardless of the methylation status of the mother or father.

What to do?

  • Support methylation in the father and mother prior to, and during, pregnancy in order to increase the odds of optimizing methylation in the developing child.
  • Identify genetic defects in the methylation pathway, namely MTHFR, in both parents and supplement accordingly in order to bypass the methylation defect thereby increasing the odds of optimizing methylation in the developing child.
  • Identify DNMT inhibitors and have both mother and father cease their use prior to and during pregnancy (for the mother).

What is DNMT and what does DNMT do?
DNMT stands for DNA methyltransferase. DNMT is necessary to help balance methylation.  There are various genes for DNMT and DNMT 1[3] appears to be very significant.

What are DNMT inhibitors?
DNMT inhibitors are compounds which directly or indirectly negatively affect the function of DNMT.  DNMT inhibitors are showing promise in cancer treatment; however, during pregnancy, they are to be avoided.

  • 5-azacytidine
  • 5-aza-2-deoxycitidine
  • zebularine
  • hydralazine
  • epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG)
  • psammaplin A

EGCG as a DNMT Inhibitor
You may not realize that EGCG may be prevalent in your diet.

EGCG is found in green tea.

While green tea in small amounts appears to be beneficial for fertilization, too much is not. An Italian study[4] points out: “Supplementation of 10 microg/ml EGCG during IVF significantly increased the fertilization rate while higher EGCG concentrations (25 microg/ml) decreased the percentage of fertilized oocytes (p<0.05). In conclusion, our data suggest that high EGCG concentrations could affect in vitro maturation and fertilization in pig; it cannot be totally excluded that excessive EGCG concentrations could induce reproductive-related consequences also in vivo.”

A paper written by Jacob Schor, ND[5] elaborates more on the subject of Green Tea in Pregnancy. Dr Schor’s paper discusses the link between EGCG and its ability to inhibit the DHFR enzyme which is needed to convert inactive folate to active forms.

He states, “It seems that EGCG blocks the enzyme dihydrofolate reductase, an enzyme essential for tumor cell growth. Without this enzyme, folic acid is unavailable in the cells. Folic acid is needed for cells to divide. Without folic acid cell division is slowed down. ”

DNMT Antibodies
If an enzyme or any cell has antibodies against it, the potential for partial or complete inhibition exists.

Given the prevalence of autoimmune disease, the potential for DNMT antibodies is important to consider.

While there is no direct research identifying DNMT antibodies and their effect on DNMT function, one must suspect they exist in nature – because DNMT antibodies certainly exist in the laboratory.[6]

What do to about potential DNMT Antibodies?

  • Eliminate gluten from your diet, especially wheat
  • Identify potential food intolerances and remove them
  • Supplement with effective probiotics
  • Obtain and maintain vitamin D3 levels around 45 to 50

Remove the Inhibition of DNMT by Folate
By ingesting foods high in folate or supplementing with methylfolate and folinic acid, DNMT inhibition may be lessened.

A Chinese study[7] researched the effects of maternal folic acid in newborn piglets. They found that “Real-time PCR indicated that gene expression of … DNMT1 were lower in IUGR piglets but could be elevated by maternal folic acid supplementation”

Bottom Line of Recurrent Miscarriage Causes:

  1. Recurrent miscarriage causes are not completely due to the status of the woman
  2. Paternal genetics should be considered – especially clotting disorders and MTHFR
  3. DNMT inhibitors must be avoided
  4. Optimize DNMT while pregnant with food folate, methylfolate and folinic acid
  5. Optimize methylation in man and woman prior to becoming pregnant


One Response to “Recurrent Miscarriage Causes: Look Beyond the Woman”

  1. Rose October 25, 2014 at 12:26 pm #

    Hi Dr Ben, PLEASE I AM DESPERATE NEED OF HELP FOR MY SISTER WHO HAS JUST HAD HER 11th MISCARRIAGE. She has not tried to get pregnant in over a year, cleansed her body, gluten free dairy free. She has been taking the supplements of Metformin 1500 mg, Metanx, Vitamin neevo prenatal,vitamin B6 B12 in all active form, and an aspirin before being pregnant. Doctor put her on lovenox 1 time a day this pregnacy. NO ONE IN NEW YORK KNOWS ABOUT THE MTHFR GENES. She was put on cynthroid 100mg to keep TSH DOWN BUT DOES NOT HAVE A THYROID PROBLEM. I will give you a history of both my sister and brother in law and I ask PLEASE give us some advice.
    My sister has a history of ANA POSITIVE. HOMOZYGOUS FOR C677T with normal homocysteine levels. 2 copies of the 4g allele in PA1. Positive anti annexing.

    My brother in law is heterozygous for 1 copy of c677t, 1 copy A1298c and Herero for G20210 in the prothrombin factor, 2 gene at elevated risk for venous thrombosis, positive for 2 copies of 4g variant and is homozygous 1. This is what we have from doctors results. Please if you have any advice please help us if they will be ever to have a child together with all these MTHFR GENES. Thank you in advance.

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