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Can H. pylori cause miscarriages?

H. pylori and miscarriages

H. pylori and miscarriages is taken from my e-book, How H. pylori Causes Fertility and Pregnancy Problems, which you can download here for free.

Miscarriage or spontaneous abortion occurs in 15% of pregnancies and is defined as an “unintended termination of pregnancy resulting in fetal death prior to 23 week of gestation.”

Infections such as H. pylori may play a role in miscarriages, but they would not necessarily be the only contributing factor.

Evidence supporting the association between H. pylori­­­––particularly the CagA strain­––and miscarriage is presented in a 2014 World Journal of Gastroenterology paper:

“Rossi et al (2004) observed a higher number of fetal resorption in H. pylori infected pregnant mice compared to non-infected controls. Hajishafiha et al found an association between H. pylori CagA-strains maternal infection and early pregnancy loss in patients undergoing intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection.

Recently we found a significantly higher percentage of H. pylori seropositive women among primigravidae with a miscarriage compared to controls, while the presence of maternal serum antibodies against H. pylori did not appear to be associated with recurrent miscarriage.

These findings suggest a relationship between H. pylori infection and implantation / placentation failure, possibly due to a cross-reaction between antibodies against H. pylori and placental tissue.”

A complex issue

One of the biggest challenges with H. pylori and other chronic digestive infections is that they affect different people in different ways.

Pregnant lady (A) may have no problem with H. pylori during her pregnancy, but pregnant lady (B) may develop all sorts of challenges.

Both The H. Pylori Diet and my e-book on H. pylori and fertility/pregnancy cover this topic in detail.

For now, here are some of the factors that influence H. pylori’s effect on the body:

  • H. pylori strain (CagA is a virulent strain)
  • A person’s genetics (the MTHFR gene, for example)
  • Diet and lifestyle (pro-inflammatory versus anti-inflammatory)
  • Nutrient status (e.g. vitamin B12, folate, iron)
  • Stress levels and hormone balance (e.g. thyroid hormones, sex hormones)

Rather than asking the question of whether H. pylori triggers miscarriages in the general population, which is a delusional way of looking at things, it’s wise to ask, “Could H. pylori pose problems in certain individuals.”

The answer always lies in each person’s unique situation, which is why detailed assessment of the above factors is crucial when repeated problems with pregnancy and fertility are encountered.

We know that H. pylori can lead to deficiencies in iron, vitamin B12 and possibly folate, all of which are needed for healthy pregnancy.

We also know that H. pylori can generate systemic inflammation, which in turn causes stress on the body and compromises the function of other tissues and organs.

The effects of these nutrient deficiencies may be amplified in people like me who have mutations in MTHFR and other important genes.

Only a thorough assessment of these factors can lead to certainty on what’s going on, and guide you to a fully customised healing program.

Key Points on H. pylori and recurrent miscarriage:

  • While the evidence is limited, there are indications that H. pylori might induce miscarriages in some cases.
  • Effects will vary from person-to-person due to the complex nature of host-infection interactions.

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