5 Advances in Pregnancy Research

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Urine test may help predict preterm births

A new, non-invasive test could be used in early pregnancy to predict preterm birth and poor fetal development. Researchers analyzed metabolites found in the urine of 438 pregnant women and detected that elevated levels of the amino acid lysine were associated with spontaneous preterm birth.

Perineal tears will most likely reoccur

New research shows increased risk of severe tearing in women who have a third or fourth degree tear in their first delivery. The study aims to help women make decisions about the mode of delivery in future pregnancies to ensure the best outcomes for mom and baby.

Inflammation in mom's blood tied to schizophrenia in child

High maternal C-reactive protein levels were significantly associated with development of schizophrenia in offspring and remained significant after adjusting for parental history of psychiatric disorders, twin/single birth, location of birth, and maternal socioeconomic status. For every 1 mg/L increase in maternal C-reactive protein, the risk of schizophrenia increased by 28 percent.

Preeclampsia may be detected early in pregnancy

University of Iowa researchers have discovered a biomarker that could give expecting mothers and their doctors the first simple blood test to reliably predict that a pregnant woman may develop preeclampsia, at least as early as six weeks into the pregnancy. Preeclampsia is a cardiovascular disorder generally occurring late in pregnancy and often resulting in an early delivery, creating immediate and potentially lifelong risks to both mother and baby.

In fertility treatments, sperm quality is most important

Contrary to previous studies, new research finds that the outcome of fertility treatment using sperm donors may not be dependent on a man's age, but the quality of their sperm.