Recurrent Pregnancy Loss
Recurrent pregnancy loss, or recurring miscarriage, is painful to experience and difficult to discuss, but it isn’t necessarily a sign that pregnancy is impossible.
If you’ve experienced the loss of multiple pregnancies, please know that a future pregnancy could still occur. At Reproductive Gynecology & Infertility, we are dedicated to creating a safe, compassionate environment where you can talk about your fertility struggles, health challenges, fears, and hopes.
What is recurrent pregnancy loss?
Recurrent pregnancy loss is the designation given when two or more ultrasound or pregnancy test-confirmed pregnancies fail. (Recurring pregnancy loss and infertility are distinct conditions.) Approximately 20 percent of all pregnancies are miscarried within the first 20 weeks.
Recurrent pregnancy loss can have numerous causes, including
- Uterine anomaly. Irregularities in the uterus structure are often contributing factors to pregnancy loss. The most common abnormality is a septate uterus, a uterine cavity divided in the middle by a thin membrane wall. Other issues include endometrial polyps, intrauterine adhesions, or fibroid tumors.
- Structural chromosomal anomaly. Certain genetic abnormalities contribute to pregnancy loss. These might be present in either the male reproductive cells (sperm) or female reproductive cells (egg).
- Autoimmune disorders. Autoimmune disorders are conditions that cause an erratic immune response. When the immune response is abnormal, autoantibodies attack parts of the body as though they were infections. Certain autoimmune diseases are particularly threatening to reproductive health. These include lupus, scleroderma, and Sjogren’s syndrome. Rheumatoid arthritis could also lead to complications, though largely due to the medications sometimes used to treat it. Joint swelling and stiffness, fatigue, swollen glands, and recurrent fever are common symptoms of autoimmune disorders.
- Obesity. A body mass index (BMI) above 30 raises the risk of infertility and miscarriage.
- Lifestyle factors. Heavy alcohol consumption, smoking, and use of narcotics increase the risk of miscarriage.
Additionally, advancing maternal age poses a higher risk of miscarriage. As your eggs age, they develop chromosomal anomalies, causing chromosomes to divide improperly. Abnormal chromosome division can lead to significant developmental issues. This phenomenon causes infertility, miscarrying, and conditions like Down’s Syndrome and Turner Syndrome in offspring.
Why should I consider treatment for recurrent pregnancy loss?
It is critical to determine the cause of your recurrent miscarriage. Learning the root cause can be beneficial for your overall health and finding a path towards a successful pregnancy.
If you’ve lost two or more pregnancies, we highly recommend comprehensive diagnostic testing to better understand the underlying cause or causes.
The range of potential complications might be wide. We offer genetic counseling, specialists in high-risk pregnancies, reproductive immunologists, and reproductive endocrinologists with in-depth experience in reproductive medicine. Our team is more than equipped to help identify the contributing factors and develop treatment options that address your core reproductive issues.
Treatments for recurrent miscarriage include:
- Surgery. Surgical intervention is recommended for certain structural anomalies, such as fibroids, polyps, and cysts.
- IVF. In vitro fertilization addresses numerous conditions, including genetic issues detectable via preimplantation genetic screening.
- Medications. Certain fertility challenges can be resolved by administering the appropriate medications. For example, if you are diagnosed with antiphospholipid antibody syndrome, blood-thinning medications might address the issue.
- Donor services. In certain cases, donor eggs or embryos might offer the best chances for successful family building.
Reproductive Gynecology & Infertility has provided exceptional reproductive health services to communities throughout Northeast Ohio since 1993. We have learned that the best outcomes are achieved when patients feel comfortable, respected, and heard. If you are experiencing difficulties in getting pregnant or maintaining a pregnancy, please contact the representatives at RGI for a consultation.
RGI offers comprehensive infertility and recurrent pregnancy loss treatment programs that address a broad scope of underlying issues. To discuss your concerns with a caring fertility specialist, please call 866-537-2461 today.