A doctor would say that you have recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL), sometimes known as repeated miscarriage, if you have had two or more miscarriages. Your doctor may say you have recurrent miscarriages if you have had three or more miscarriages in a row. Our fertility specialists recommend a thorough physical exam and testing if you have had repeated or recurrent miscarriage.
Experiencing miscarriage after miscarriage can drain your energy and deplete your hope for a larger family. You may even find it difficult to envision your future with a beautiful new baby.
The good news is that most women who have been through this go on to have a baby. This is especially true when medical tests cannot determine the underlying cause of the miscarriage. In fact, 60 percent of women experiencing recurrent miscarriages – that is three miscarriages in a row – go on to have a baby in their next pregnancy.
How common is recurrent miscarriage?
If you suffer recurrent miscarriages, you are not alone. Approximately one in 100 women experiences this heartache. It is often unclear why recurrent miscarriages happen to some women. In fact, doctors cannot find a reason for recurrent miscarriage in about half of all cases.
Reproduction specialists, like the fertility leaders at Noble Fertility Center, can identify some of the problems that cause women just like you to miscarry repeatedly.
Causes of recurrent miscarriage
You may wonder why miscarriages keep destroying your dreams of having a baby. Many factors can interfere with pregnancy, including blood-clotting conditions, genetic issues, problems with your uterus or cervix, and other problems. Fortunately, there is still a chance you will enjoy a successful pregnancy next time, even if doctors cannot determine the cause of your recurrent miscarriage.
Reproductive specialists screen for specific health conditions known to lead to miscarriage.
Medical researchers continue to investigate the role these health conditions – and other medical problems – play in recurrent miscarriages.
Health Conditions Associated with Recurrent Miscarriages
Antiphospholipid Syndrome (APS)
Also known as sticky blood syndrome or Hughes syndrome, APS causes abnormal blood clotting that can interfere with your pregnancy. Doctors detect APS by measuring the amount of antiphospholipid, a type of antibody, in your bloodstream. They find the APS antibody in 15 to 20 percent of all cases of recurrent miscarriages.
Thrombophilia is similar to APS in that it makes your blood more likely to clot, increasing your risk for recurrent miscarriage.
You or your partner may have a genetic problem that does not create a problem until your baby inherits it. Fertility specialists estimate chromosomal problems account for 2 to 5 percent of recurrent miscarriages.
Uterine Or Cervical Problems
Recurrent miscarriage may be the result of a problem with your uterus or cervix, including abnormal shape or weakness.
Polycystic Ovaries And Hormone Imbalance
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which is the most common hormonal problem among women of childbearing age, disrupts hormone levels in a way that can cause miscarriage.
Advancing Age And Continuous Miscarriages
The older you are, the higher your risk for miscarriage. After you turn 35 years old or so, the quantity and quality of your eggs begin to decline. The age of your baby’s father is also a factor. These issues can cause the genetic material to grow incorrectly during fertilization. This may result in a chromosomal abnormality that increases your risk for a miscarriage. Unfortunately, each miscarriage you experience increases your risk for having another one.
In many cases, doctors can find no cause for recurrent miscarriage. Doctors refer to this as 'unexplained recurrent miscarriage’. Reproduction specialists continue to investigate the causes of recurrent miscarriages and this research will someday reduce the number of recurrent miscarriages.
Tests for Recurrent Miscarriage
The fertility leaders at Noble Fertility Center in New York use the most advanced diagnostic tests and treatments for recurrent miscarriage available.
Blood & Tissue Testing
The APS blood test checks for the blood-clotting problem, sticky blood syndrome. This test requires two blood draws at least six weeks apart. If the test shows that you do not have APS and you receive quality care and blood thinners from a leading fertility specialist, you stand a good chance of a successful pregnancy.
You and your partner can have a karyotype test that checks for chromosomal abnormalities. If the test reveals a problem, genetic counseling with a genetics specialist can help determine your chances of having a healthy pregnancy.
Laboratory tests do not always provide the answers, unfortunately. This can be very frustrating, especially if you have endured multiple heartbreaks from recurrent miscarriages. Advanced testing after miscarriage, however, can bring new light and hope to a very dark moment. If you have another miscarriage, you may want to consent to pregnancy tissue testing or a post mortem examination if you had a late miscarriage. While the decision to have these tests is a difficult one, the tests can help you succeed in your next pregnancy.
Our fertility doctor will perform an ultrasound scan of your uterus to help him discover any abnormalities that has been making pregnancy difficult. Ultrasound scanning throughout your pregnancy is helpful if your doctor suspects you suffer from a weak or short cervix because your water broke early in a previous pregnancy or if your cervix opened painlessly.
Depending on the abnormality revealed in the ultrasound, it may be possible for you to enjoy a successful pregnancy after a minor surgical procedure or some other type of reproductive care.
What are my chances of having a healthy baby?
While it may be hard to believe, about three-fourths of women who experience unexplained miscarriages actually have good chances of having successful pregnancies later on. For these patients, we have all the diagnostic tools and individualized protocols to help you avoid another miscarriage. We have been very successful at this! This will be especially true if you receive quality care in the form of compassionate medical attention, accurate laboratory testing and advanced fertility treatment. At Noble Fertility Center, we provide all these services and more to improve your chances of having a healthy baby.
Advances in medical technology have helped create treatments for some, but not all, conditions associated with recurrent miscarriages. To learn more about recurrent miscarriages and improving your chances for a successful pregnancy, call 212.804.6666 to make an appointment with the fertility treatment specialists in New York, Noble Fertility Center.