In the last 10 years there is no other area in the medicine that has progressed more than the assisted reproduction field. Nearly every day there is a new discovery it is becoming harder to keep up with even for the professionals working in this field! One of the most exciting new developments is a test called "C4M2 Variant ". This is a new test that is aimed at couples with repeated unexplained miscarriages or unexplained implantation failure with IVF treatment. It looks at a genetic abnormality "mutation" or "variation" in a specific gene in our body carried on chromosome no. 4. That is where it gets the name C4M2. "C4" stands for chromosome no. 4 and "M2" is the name given to the variant at a specific location of this gene on chromosome no.4.
The cells of our body have 23 pairs of chromosome in addition to one pair for sex chromosome that determine whether we are males or females. Each chromosome carries genes that are responsible for every function in our body. This is what keeps us alive and healthy.
The C4M2 gene is partly responsible for normal clotting in our body and if it has an abnormality "variation" it will result in blood clotting disorders (sticky blood). We have known for a number of years that increased clotting in the mother’s body can lead to miscarriage or implantation failure by the reducing the blood flow to the embryo at a very early stage of its implantation in the womb. What is new following the discovery of the C4M2 variant is that it is not necessarily the mother who is always responsible for the clotting disorders but in some case it can be the father by passing the abnormal gene to the embryo! Also, it appears that this abnormality is not uncommon as was initially thought with an incidence rate of 22% in couples going through IVF and 15% in the general population. If either the man or the woman is a carrier of this genetic variation they have almost 75% chance of not having a live birth!!
Testing for it is simple, a blood test carried out on both partner and the result are available in 2-3 weeks. If the C4M2 Variant is identified in either partner the woman will be prescribed a blood thinning medication called Heparin or now better known as Clexane. This is an under the skin injection that starts at the time of embryo transfer and continue through pregnancy. If the woman is the carrier of the gene variant she will be asked to continue the treatment for 6 weeks following delivery.
The C4M2 test is available at all CARE clinics - contact us to find out more.