image showing human endometrium cells

Myth: Miscarriages arising from chromosomally abnormal (aneuploid) embryos occur only in older women

Although increased age is a risk factor for embryo aneuploidy (abnormality) and miscarriages, younger women (<35) are at substantial risk for producing aneuploid embryos particularly when they have a history of recurrent miscarriages.  It may be that in these women the uterine lining is too selective.  In other words, the uterine lining is inappropriately allowing abnormal embryos to implant and early pregnancies to progress for a time before miscarriage inevitably occurs.

A recent study, “Higher chromosomal abnormality rate in blastocyts from young patients with idiopathic recurrent pregnancy loss” Liu eta al, published in Fertility and Sterility, April 2020, discovered

The FACTS:

  1. 37% of embryos produced during IVF were aneuploid for women under the age of 35 without a history of recurrent miscarriage
  2. 49% of the embryos produced during IVF were aneuploid for women <age 35 with a history of recurrent miscarriage
  3. Over 60% of the embryos produced during IVF were aneuploid for women >age 35 regardless of miscarriage history

BOTTOM LINE: This data supports the use of PGT-A during IVF to provide a selection mechanism for embryos to transfer in younger women particularly when they have suffered multiple miscarriages, and for older women who are at overall higher risk to produce aneuploid embryos.

Mira Aubuchon, MD