Recurrent Pregnancy Loss

One of the most heartbreaking experiences that a woman can experience is recurrent pregnancy loss, or miscarriage. Unfortunately, recurrent pregnancy loss is common.. As many as twenty five percent of all pregnancies will end in miscarriage, usually during the first trimester. Recurrent miscarriage is defined as having two or more pregnancy losses. While the cause(s) of the miscarriages will not be discovered 50% of the time, it is important to remember that most women who undergo this ordeal will ultimately go on to have a healthy baby.

If you find yourself in this unfortunate position it is imperative that you be evaluated thoroughly by a specialist, in order to attempt to determine the cause of the losses and therefore, avoid any subsequent miscarriages.

There are a number of potential causes of recurrent pregnancy loss. These include:

  • Genetic or chromosomal variants in one or both parents
  • Advanced maternal age
  • Hormonal abnormalities
  • Medical conditions such as diabetes, obesity, polycystic ovary syndrome or thyroid disorders
  • Uterine cavity distortion caused by fibroids, polyps, scar tissue, or a uterine septum
  • Asherman's syndrome (adhesions within the uterus)
  • Celiac disease
  • Lupus
  • Thrombophilia (tendency towards the formation of blood clots)
  • Male factor anomalies (integrity of sperm DNA)

For those who have experienced pregnancy loss, the overriding concern is how to prevent another one. As with so many medical conditions, knowledge here is key. If the reason for the pregnancy loss can be identified, subsequent miscarriages often can be avoided. If, for example, you have a family history of any chromosomal abnormalities, such as family members with Down's syndrome or Turner's syndrome, make sure to let your physician know as these disorders sometimes have a genetic link.

There are a number of tests that can help to determine the underlying cause. To find out what they are, and to learn more about this subject, click here.

To watch a short video on recurrent miscarriage, click here.

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