Chromosome 16 (Diary Page 14)

Chromosome 16 (Diary Page 14)

Chromosome 16

It was 10am on a Monday morning. I got a call from my Gynaecologist’s clinic. Her team had my latest report of Molecular Karyotyping and wanted to discuss the findings with me. I put my mobile on speaker for Sameer to listen.

“After the miscarriage, we sent some samples for additional testing. There was gain for the whole arm of chromosome 16” said the assistant physician. “It occurs only in 1% of all pregnancies. However, it accounts for approx. 10% of the miscarriages globally. We will schedule your appointment with the Doctor shortly.” 

I was speechless with disappointment. When I was trying to get over the whole incident, it resurfaced. “Let’s wait for the report copy and not think anything negative yet. We will see what to do”, said Sameer. 

I held the report in disbelief. The report was Greek and Latin for me except for the title “Abnormal Report” and recommendation “the family is recommended for genetic counseling.”  

Sameer was busy searching for the exact interpretation of the scientific terms in the report. After a few hours of research and a few calls to his physician friends, he closed his laptop. He said “Chromosome 16 contains thousands of genes whose role is to guide protein production, which impacts a variety of functions in the human body.

Structural abnormality in a chromosome can hinder proper fetal growth and development. Such situations mostly results in first-trimester miscarriage. I don't know the exact or even probable cause for this abnormality. But, what I want you to know is that this miscarriage was not our fault.” 

“What if this happens again?” I asked. “They have recommended genetic counseling in the report. What does that mean? Why is it required? Can there be a problem again? Will I conceive again? I did a quick rapid fire of the questions.

Sameer replied “The scientific evidence suggests that up to 85% of women who have a first-trimester miscarriage go on to have a normal successive pregnancy. We don’t have to worry”. His research is always thorough and with statistics from reputed sources. Almost every single website about miscarriage (linked to Chromosome 16) reiterated the high probability of a normal pregnancy after miscarriage. 

Sameer said, “Let's see the doctor for more clarity” and signed off. But a rapid flood of thoughts began sweeping my tiny little brain. It was difficult to focus. So, I decided to take some time off.

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