Pregnancy is a confusing time when a ton of stuff is going on in a person’s body, and they don’t necessarily know anything about what is happening. More information helps people take care of themselves and make informed choices. Now researchers say they’ve developed a simple blood test that may help identify pregnant women with an increased risk of miscarriage.

According to CafeMom, Scientists at the Laboratory of Premature Medicine and Immunology in San Francisco say they can test for preeclampsia and miscarriages in pregnant women. They say these tests can alert women of miscarriage risks in the first trimester, before those women were even showing any symptoms.

Researchers say they can detect an increased risk of miscarriage in the first trimester.

The researchers say they can do this by looking at the membrane that lines the uterus. The blood tests could identify blood supply issues, which are associated with increased risk of preterm delivery, miscarriage, and preeclampsia. The study authors say they can predict these issues with 90 percent accuracy.

“Although our understanding of these pathologies is increasing, prevention remains a significant challenge in obstetrics. Clinical symptoms generally manifest in the second to third trimesters of pregnancy, while underlying pathology begins within the placental bed beginning early in the first trimester,” the study authors wrote.

The research involved four different studies, and 160 births altogether. Study authors said they predicted preeclampsia and miscarriage with 90 percent accuracy, and preterm labor before 34 weeks to 89 percent accuracy.

They argue this indicates a common biological origin in the first trimester, and that identifying high risk pregnancies earlier will improve care. A doctor who knows a patient has a higher risk of miscarriage could monitor that patient more closely. They could take preventative measures to prevent preterm delivery, and give patients more information about their health and pregnancies.

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(Image: iStockPhoto / Utah778)