Pregnancy loss or miscarriage is a traumatic experience, especially when pregnancy is achieved through fertility treatment. If a miscarriage happens again & again or recurrent pregnancy loss is there, it is an emotionally devastating condition.
Recurrent Pregnancy Loss is defined as three consecutive pregnancy losses. Even biochemical pregnancies or pregnancies with the only beta – hCG positive blood tests but no pregnancy seen on ultrasound are also considered in the definition of recurrent pregnancy loss.
While miscarriage is quite common and affects approximately 15% pregnancies, recurrent pregnancy loss or consecutive miscarriages are seen only in approximately 1-2% couples, so this condition affects approximately 1 in 100 couples.
There can be many reasons or factors causing recurrent pregnancy loss. However, it is important to understand that in almost half of patients, no discernible cause can be found. The majority of miscarriages occur as a result of genetically abnormal embryos. Conditions that are also known to lead to recurrent miscarriage are blood clotting disorders; endocrine disorders; submucosal fibroids; and other structural abnormalities in the womb; as well as hormonal issues commonly seen with polycystic ovaries. In a small percentage of people, a genetic abnormality can be passed down resulting in miscarriages.
Pregnancy loss is rarely anyone’s fault. Even in cases where the cause is known, there is usually nothing anyone could have done to prevent it.
With that being said, there may be contributing factors to watch out for if you plan to try again. If for example, you have diabetes, hormonal problems, or thyroid disease, there may be risk factors you can mitigate, treatments you can try, or certain tools you can use to better monitor your pregnancy the next time around.
As the number of miscarriages increase, the chances of further miscarriage also increase. After 3 miscarriages, the risk of subsequent miscarriage is approximately 30% so there are almost 70% chances of carrying a normal pregnancy, even after 3 miscarriages. But this is not a blanket statement as with advancing age of mother, the risk of subsequent miscarriage is higher. This may due to poor egg quality in women with advanced age. So in a woman who is approximately 40, her risk of miscarriage is as high as 40% and a woman of 45 years, has an 80% risk of miscarrying.
This is where medical insights may truly be able to help.If you are suffering from pregnancy loss, it is a good idea to see a gynaecologist to evaluate for the causes of pregnancy loss. The common reasons are high blood sugar, elevated thyroid levels, and abnormalities in the structure of uterus to name a few. To detect these disorders your doctor may advise blood tests as well as a specialized investigation like hysteroscopy. Also, an immunological blood test might be done to look for specific causes.
There are a few simple things you can do to better improve your odds irrespective of your age or health status. These including stopping smoking, losing weight if you are obese, or controlling chronic health conditions like diabetes. The simple lifestyle fixes can contribute greatly to achieving a healthy, event-free pregnancy.
IVF as such does not prevent recurrent pregnancy loss. But in IVF we can do preimplantation genetic testing to look for chromosomal abnormalities in the embryo, hence transfer only embryos which are normal. When PGT-A is done in IVF. It does reduce your risk of miscarriage. Also inpatient with genetic issues, IVF donor eggs or sperms can be used to reduce miscarriage risk.
Disclaimer: The content on this website is only intended for educational purposes and to create knowledge amongst masses about women's health and obstetrics & gynaecology. Hence, no information issued on this website shall be treated as an alternative to consultation from a certified obstetrician & gynaecologist. The results can vary from women to women depending on their specific health conditions.