Genetics of Uterine Atony

Published by Luke Morais on

Genetics of Uterine Atony

What is Uterine Atony?

Uterine atony is when a woman’s uterus, which is the organ where a baby grows during pregnancy, doesn’t tighten up as it should after giving birth. When the uterus tightens, it helps to stop the bleeding that naturally happens after a baby is born. If the uterus doesn’t tighten, a woman can lose a lot of blood. This condition is one of the most common causes of heavy bleeding after childbirth, also known as postpartum hemorrhage.

How was the research done?

Researchers want to find out what medical signs can show if a woman might have heavy bleeding called postpartum hemorrhage (PPH) after giving birth, because the uterus doesn’t tighten properly. They will look at all the research studies done on this topic to make a list of risk factors. They also want to find out if there are certain genes that make a woman more likely to have uterine atony. They will do a study using health records from patients who gave birth at Vanderbilt hospital and who have genetic data in the BioVU database. Lastly, they want to create a tool that doctors can use to figure out if a woman is at risk of heavy bleeding after birth because of uterine atony. This tool will use both the medical signs and the genetic factors they found. They will test this tool in a group of more than 50,000 people to see if it works well.

What is the significance of this research?

Around 4-6 % out of every 100 pregnant women will have heavy bleeding after giving birth. The most common reason for this is uterine atony. PPH is a serious problem. It can make the mother very sick and is the leading cause for maternal death after childbirth all around the world. This study will help researchers better understand which pregnant women might be at risk of heavy bleeding after giving birth because their uterus doesn’t tighten properly. This will make it easier for doctors to know who might need extra care. It also sets the stage for future research and tests of new treatments. 

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