Recurrent Pregnancy Loss (RPL) implies the loss of 2 or more pregnancies before the completion of 20 weeks. Early pregnancy requires a delicate balance between coagulation and fibrinolysis. MTHFR symptoms cause a decrease in the MTHFR enzyme activity, which can lead to aggression in the platelet and difficulty in pregnancy. This article discusses how MTHFR impacts pregnancy.
Why is Folate Essential?
Folate is the result of the breakdown of folic acid (an essential vitamin B) caused by a chemical reaction within the body. Folate is crucial during fertilization as it is responsible for making DNA, repairing DNA, and producing red blood cells.
MTHFR Disables the Body from Breaking down Folic Acid
The MTHFR gene is responsible for producing homocysteine, which helps in the breakdown of folic acid to make folate. Due to the gene mutation, the body is unable to break down this all essential vitamin. This can cause problems such as abnormal blood clotting, cognitive disabilities, and skeletal abnormalities.
Placenta Does Not Receive Enough Nutrition
Homocysteinemia causes the formation of tiny blood clots that block the placenta from receiving nutrition. This essentially means that the fetus is starved and triggers an abortion. The research found that about 30% of RPL is due to the MTHFR gene mutation.
MTHFR – The Second Most Researched Gene Mutation for Miscarriages
While there is conflicting evidence, some researchers believe that MTHFR is the gene that may be associated with RPL. These results may contradict because women diagnosed with MTHFR mutation increase their intake of green, leafy vegetables and reduce the consumption of folic acid with the onset of pregnancy. This results in them having a full-term pregnancy.
Not All Women with MTHFR Miscarry
MTHFR is necessary to convert homocysteine to methionine. The lack of enzyme due to gene mutation results in an elevation of homocysteine levels in the blood. These patients showed 30% of regular enzyme activity, while heterozygosity requires 65% of enzyme activity.
Not All MTHFR Mutations Are Serious
The most common MTHFR gene mutations are C677T and A1298C. Of these, the C677T has a high level of influence on the homocysteine levels, while A1298C is known not to influence the homocysteine levels. Researchers found no relation between A1298C MTHFR gene mutation and RPL.
There are several therapy options for women with MTHFR symptoms to have a successful pregnancy. One recommended therapy is the administration of anti-clotting injections such as Lovenox or Heparin. Doing so may result in the prevention of clotting and clear passage of nutrition to the fetus.
When to Begin Treatment?
Since this condition is found to affect pregnancy within the first 20 weeks of pregnancy, it is recommended that the treatment starts early and continues even after the first trimester. Determining the length of the treatment will require constant monitoring of the patient and frequent tests.
If you or a person you know has MTHFR gene mutation and if either of you is trying to get pregnant, then you or that person must be aware of how it may impact pregnancy. With multiple treatment options and continued monitoring, your pregnancy can be taken to full-term.