By Dr. Anitha Nair
One of the most difficult things a couple can face after longing for a child is a pregnancy loss.
How Common Is Miscarriage?
It is believed that up to 1 in 4 pregnancies will result in a miscarriage. This number can be jarring for many, not understanding just how common miscarriage can be.
What is less commonly seen is recurrent pregnancy loss, or multiple miscarriages. According to the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), only about 5% of couples will have two miscarriages, and only about 1% will experience three or more miscarriages.
Recurrent pregnancy loss, defined as two or more miscarriages, can be very mentally and physically draining to patients as they try to build a family.
What Are Risk Factors for Miscarriage?
The risk of miscarriage increases with increasing age, especially in women over the age of 35. Certain medical conditions may predispose patients to pregnancy loss. Smoking, caffeine, and alcohol can also increase your risk of miscarriage.
What Are Some of the Known Causes for Recurrent Pregnancy Loss?
Percentage of Abnormalities
Embryonic Genetic Abnormalities
Thrombophilic (Blood Clotting) Disorders
Luteal Phase Defect
Genetic Abnormalities (parental)
Are There Treatments for Miscarriage?
When it comes to treating recurrent pregnancy loss, couples are recommended to undergo specific testing to evaluate for these possible causes.
If the cause of the miscarriage is found, then some treatment may be available. Treatment is individualized based on testing results. For example, problems with the abnormalities of the uterus can be corrected with surgery. Some immune problems or hormone imbalances can be corrected with medication. However, no definite cause for miscarriage is found in many cases.
The Good News for Recurrent Pregnancy Loss
Fortunately, even if no cause is found, there is still a good chance that eventually you will deliver a healthy baby. If a problem can be found and treated, over 70% of couples will have a subsequent live birth. In couples diagnosed with unexplained recurrent pregnancy loss, in which the evaluation is completely normal, these couples still also have a similarly high level of success with reassurance and good care.
If you are suffering from multiple miscarriages, please do not be discouraged. I would urge you to have a consultation with your obstetrician/gynecologist or seek the advice of a fertility specialist.
Shady Grove Fertility can be found online at ShadyGroveFertility.com. If you have questions about infertility, contact a new patient representative at 1-877-554-8899.