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Fetal death in a previous pregnancy

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 analysis.

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.
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