It is important to clarify whether an autopsy was performed on the fetus, and if
so, to know what the findings were. It is also important to check whether chromosome
analysis (karyotype) was performed on both the mother's and the father's blood,
and if so, what the results were. In addition, tests for excessive clotting tendency
(blood clotting) should be carried out. Once these tests have been completed, it
should be possible to give an accurate assessment of the cause of death and whether
the parents might be at increased risk for recurrence in subsequent pregnancies.
The family should be referred to their physician and/or a genetic institute in order
to determine whether it is necessary to perform special tests before or during another
pregnancy. If there is a family history of recurrent miscarriage (2 or more) or
intrauterine fetal death, the parents are strongly advised to undergo chromosome
In most cases of intrauterine fetal death the cause is unknown and in such cases
it can be assumed that it is non-genetic. However, one cause that is genetic is
a genetic predisposition for an increased blood clotting tendency in the mother.
It is possible to test the mother for this condition, and if it is found, an anti-clotting
drug such as aspirin, etc., is administered.