Dr Jane Cleal – Identifying factors that lead to infertility and miscarriage

Our research will bring doctors and researchers one-step closer to being able to provide a more effective treatment to screen, diagnose and treat women with difficulties in conceiving and maintaining their pregnancy.

This project aims to identify factors in the endometrium that impede or facilitate implantation and successful pregnancy.

This has potential to help predict whether a successful pregnancy will occur and could lead to treatments to improve pregnancy outcomes.

The lining of the womb is the¬†endometrium. Problems with the endometrium’s ability to allow the embryo to attach correctly¬†can lead to fertility problems or miscarriage.

Dr Jane Cleal and her team at the University of Southampton will collect samples from the lining of the womb from women who suffer from inability to become pregnant (non-receptive endometrium), repeated occurrence of miscarriage (over-receptive endometrium) and normal fertility. Modern gene sequencing techniques (Drop-Seq) will be used to measure the levels of all the genes switched on in our endometrium samples.

They will aim to use 3D imaging techniques to understand how the endometrial cells types are arranged in space and where the genes whose expression change are physically located. By looking at samples from healthy woman or those with a history of poor fertility or miscarriage, we can identify the important cells or structures needed for a receptive endometrium.

Our research will bring doctors and researchers one-step closer to being able to provide a more effective treatment to screen, diagnose and treat women with difficulties in conceiving and maintaining their pregnancy.

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