An array of factors can cause recurrent pregnancy loss. Recurrent pregnancy loss is known as such when one has had two clinical miscarriages or more, consecutively. If the pregnancy is clinical, it will have been confirmed by ultrasound. Alternatively, biochemical pregnancies are ones detected by hormone testing with blood or urine.
Multiple miscarriages can be exhausting physically and emotionally. Recurrent miscarriages occur in about one in 100 women. There is no reason found in about half of these cases. However, some problems that can cause multiple miscarriages can be identified and treated.
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Recurrent Pregnancy Causes
- Antiphospholipid Syndrome (APS) is also called sticky blood syndrome or Hughes syndrome. APS has been found in 15 to 20 percent of recurrent miscarriages.
- Thrombophilia is a condition in which your blood is more likely to clot than usual. You are born with this, and it can cause recurrent pregnancy loss.
- Genetic abnormalities can happen due to the problems being passed on from the parents’ chromosomes. Between two and five percent of couples are affected by these chromosomal abnormalities.
- An abnormal uterus shape, weak cervix, or other problems with your cervix and uterus can cause miscarriage.
- Bacterial vaginosis increases the late miscarriage risk and premature birth. There is no known reason why these kinds of infections cause recurrent miscarriage.
- Hormonal problems can also cause recurrent miscarriages. Conditions like polycystic ovaries have been shown to be linked to recurrent miscarriage. This is not well understood either, and how well the treatments work is unknown.
- Hypothyroidism is another common endocrine disorder that can affect fertility.
- Having a previous miscarriage can also increase your risk.
- Your age may have an effect. If you are older, the egg quality starts to decline, and it can cause multiple miscarriages.
5 Tests That Can Be Done
1. Blood Test
- Testing for chromosomal abnormalities. Positive testers are directed to a genetic counselor.
- APS test
- Sticky blood syndrome
- Ovarian function
2. Pregnancy Tissue Test
- Testing whether or not you have a weak cervix can be difficult. It is quickly taken care of, but signs of this condition only show during pregnancy.
4. Placental Tissue Test
- Scans can show if there are any abnormalities on your uterus or ovaries. Some of these can be taken care of with a simple surgery.
4 Recurrent Miscarriage Treatment
For recurrent miscarriages, if a cause is found it can be treated easily. If there is no known cause, some treatment may work, but you still have a 50 percent chance or less of having a miscarriage. However, that is also a 50 percent chance of having a successful pregnancy.
1. Genetic Counseling
- You may be referred to a counselor to discuss genetics and how they will affect your future baby.
- Surgery can remove any abnormalities that are present. It can also reveal anything that scans do not show.
3. IVF treatments
- In vitro fertilization can be successful with a genetic diagnosis. This will help to identify embryos without the risk of losing another pregnancy.
- These can help with blood disorders like APS or congenital thrombophilia.
Myths About Recurrent Miscarriages
- You are doing something wrong
- At least 70 percent of early pregnancy losses are due to chromosomal abnormalities. This can happen regardless of testing, especially if you are over 35 and trying to have a baby.
- Clotting disorders, immune reactions, and more can also be a cause. It is not your fault that this keeps happening. It is all a part of nature.
- You must have three miscarriages in a row before seeing a doctor
- With significant improvements in genetic testing, it is now easier than ever to diagnose and treat genetic abnormalities. There is no reason to go through that pain three times before getting help. Whenever you feel concerned about your recurrent miscarriages is when you should see someone.
- Just take … and you will be cured
- No magic drug will stop you from having recurrent miscarriages. Unless there is a definitive diagnosis, it is almost impossible to prevent.
- IVF in the case of immune disorders is potentially dangerous and potentially a financial drain for no reason.
- Aspirin and heparin are sometimes prescribed and result in successful pregnancies, but there is no evidence linking the two. Aspirin may also increase the risk of maternal bleeding, so be careful when taking it. Baby aspirin will probably be better.
- You must wait … to try again
- There are conflicting opinions when it comes to when you can try again. Some say that you should wait two to three months before trying again, but others say there is no reason to wait.
- It is really up to you and your partner to be ready to try again. The uterus may need time to recover, but there is no medical evidence proving either way.
- Some doctors still recommend that you wait six to 18 months before trying again. It is dependent on why you have recurrent miscarriages. Some may need to wait longer than others because of surgery or some other treatment.
- You will never be a mom
- Even if you are having trouble conceiving without losing the pregnancy, there are options. It is also likely that you will have a full term pregnancy resulting in a healthy baby.
- Since your chances are good, it is worth another shot. If you do not know if you can handle it, counseling can help.
- It may feel wise to prepare yourself for the worst, but that can only make you more upset if it does happen. It is best to be confident about a pregnancy until there is a reason to worry.
Recurrent miscarriages can be frustrating. However, you should not avoid going to the doctor about it. If you do not seek medical advice, you may have more miscarriages that decrease your chance of a healthy pregnancy. Treatment and knowledge go a long way when it comes to these situations.