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Waiting for a Heartbeat



Rachel is just 25, but already she has suffered six miscarriages. She represents the 1% of women who struggle to give birth to a live baby. She is a patient at St Mary's Hospital in London where, in Europe's largest recurrent miscarriage clinic, a team of dedicated scientists offer women like Rachel the hope of a precious new life. Miscarriage is surprisingly common, with as many as half of all fertilised eggs failing to develop into a foetus that survives to birth. But recurrent miscarriage, when a woman's body hits the self-destruct button time and again, is a reproductive phenomenon that medical science is battling to understand. A woman who miscarries once may be told by her doctors that her loss was a random event, probably the result of a one-off chromosome abnormality in her foetus - unlikely be repeated - and that she and her partner should try again for a child. But the women who come to Professor Lesley Regan's Clinic at St Mary's Hospital in Paddington will usually have tried, and failed, to produce a live baby at least three times. The challenge for Professor Regan's team is to determine which of these women have simply been unlucky several times in a row, and which are carrying an underlying medical condition that could explain their losses and may, more importantly, be treatable.

Film Duration: 49 min .

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