Women who have experienced more than one miscarriage could be suffering from recurrent pregnancy loss. Although this condition can be challenging to diagnose, the medical professionals at the Viera Fertility Clinic have experience identifying and treating this disorder. If you have concerns after weighing the following information, consider scheduling a consultation at our Melbourne fertility clinic.
What is Recurrent Pregnancy Loss?
According to the National Institute of Health, the condition refers to women who have failed consecutive pregnancies. In the U.S., two or more miscarriages documented by ultrasound are considered recurrent pregnancy loss. In the U.K., medical professionals use the term after three or more losses before 20 weeks.
Recurrent pregnancy loss also falls into sub-categories. In primary cases, the woman has never given birth before the pregnancies. Those with secondary recurrent pregnancy loss have successfully given birth. Identifying a clear cause requires substantial testing, and only about half can be formally diagnosed.
What are the Causes of Recurrent Pregnancy Loss?
There are wide-reaching medical conditions that can trigger repeated miscarriages. It’s not uncommon for the problem to be located within the uterus or a seemingly unrelated health issue. These are the more prevalent underlying problems.
- Genetic Predispositions: Chromosomal abnormalities such as Robertsonian translocations can predispose a fetus to miscarry. This is when strands of chromosomes fuse together.
- Uterine Abnormalities: There are a variety of irregularities in the uterus that can increase the likelihood of recurrent pregnancy loss. The most common abnormality is a septate uterus. This involves having a uterus that appears normal in size and shape. However, it has a wall that creates two separate cavities. A septate uterus may go undiagnosed unless recurrent pregnancy loss occurs.
- Health Issues: Disorders such as diabetes and irregular thyroid can be an underlying cause of repeat miscarriages. These and other conditions can be diagnosed and treated, improving a woman’s ability to bring a pregnancy to fruition.
- Environmental: Research indicates cigarette smoking, excessive caffeine, and alcohol consumption increase the risk of miscarriage. It’s essential to rein in these habits during pregnancy to lower the risk of a spontaneous miscarriage.
Scans and a thorough examination may also uncover polyps, fibroids, and scar tissue. Treating these and other common uterine health matters is critical to a successful pregnancy. Advanced maternal age may also play a role.
Diagnosing Recurrent Pregnancy Loss through a Fertility Clinic
The first step in determining the reason for repeated miscarriages involves compiling a detailed medical history. Medical professionals at a fertility clinic collect medical, surgical, and genetic information about prospective parents and their families. This information may prompt chromosomal testing for each parent. Although relatively rare, genetic anomalies may be passed along to the fetus, resulting in miscarriage.
Examinations of the uterus will usually be conducted. These typically include an ultrasound, MRI, and hysterosalpingogram X-ray, among others. These imaging tests help identify scarring, fibroids, or uterine anomalies. Part of the standard procedure in fertility cases also includes blood work. With this information in the hands of a fertility clinic doctor, you can anticipate a consultation and recommendations about next steps.
Treating Recurrent Pregnancy Loss
It’s important that pregnant women and couples understand that nearly 50 percent of people suffering repeat miscarriages go undiagnosed. That does not mean treatments and strategies cannot be taken to minimize the risk of pregnancy loss. These are proven solutions.
- Lifestyle Changes: People who smoke, drink alcohol, and overeat can reduce these habits. In terms of using legal and illegal substances, it may be prudent to wean off them and improve preconception health before trying again. People with diabetes may be tasked with tracking sugar levels more vigilantly.
- Genetic Screenings: The results of genetic screening can identify sometimes treatable conditions. In some cases, a doctor can recommend genetic counseling for a chromosomal problem.
- Corrective Measures: Things like fibroids, and a divided uterus can be resolved through surgery. These are often 1-day procedures.
Taking a holistic approach to pregnancy loss has also shown encouraging results. Joining a support group can help people express their emotions and recognize they are not alone, or to blame. This process helps reduce stress, anxiety and improves well-being. Acupuncture can aid the flow of healthy, oxygen-rich blood to the uterus. These and other measures work seamlessly with clinical medical treatments to enhance the likelihood of bringing a pregnancy full-term.
Contact a Fertility Clinic Melbourne Residents Trust
At Viera Fertility, our reproduction specialists are dedicated to helping your family grow. We are fully prepared to diagnose your condition and recommend the best possible path forward. If you are worried about a potential miscarriage, contact our Melbourne fertility clinic by dialing 321.751.4673. You can also fill out the contact form on our website, and a clinician will get back to you.