A miscarriage, in which your body expels a fetus before the 20th week of pregnancy, is medically known as spontaneous abortion. Despite how little society talks about miscarriage, it’s actually a fairly common occurrence.
About 20% of known pregnancies end in miscarriage. However, some researchers believe that about half of pregnancies that are too early to appear on a test or cause symptoms also miscarry.
Recurrent miscarriage is defined as having two or more miscarriages in a row. After a third miscarriage, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommends a thorough medical examination and tests.
If you’ve suffered recurrent miscarriages, you may be wary of getting pregnant again. However, just because you’ve miscarried before doesn’t mean that you always will. Finding the cause of your miscarriage is the first step toward having the baby of your dreams.
At Noble Fertility Center in Manhattan’s Murray Hill neighborhood in New York City, our fertility expert, Peter L. Chang, MD, also specializes in diagnosing and treating the reasons for recurrent miscarrriage. If you suffer from recurrent miscarriage, the following are factors that could be causing them.
By far, the most common cause of a miscarriage is that the fetus has chromosomal abnormalities that prevent it from developing into a baby. In fact, about 60% of miscarriages are due to chromosomal abnormalities alone.
In most cases, nothing can be done about this type of miscarriage. If you’ve had multiple miscarriages, though, you or your partner may have genetic mutations that increase the chances of miscarriage. Older women are also more likely to have fetuses with abnormalities.
When you come in for a workup, we test you and your partner for genetic mutations. If they’re the reason for your miscarriages, we may recommend preimplantation genetic screening and diagnosis (PGS and PGD) as well as in vitro fertilization (IVF). With PGS/PGD and IVF, we test your embryos for abnormalities and then implant a healthy, normal embryo into your uterus.
Antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) may cause blood clots and other complications that trigger a miscarriage. It’s estimated that up to 20% of recurrent miscarriages are caused by APS. With treatment, more than 80% of women with APS go on to have healthy live births.
High levels of glucose in your blood may reduce your chances of carrying a child to term. So does being overweight or obese. You may benefit from improving your overall fitness and health, and we may also recommend weight loss and prescribe metformin to control blood sugar.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common hormonal imbalance that may cause weight gain and ovulation problems, but it also increases your risk for miscarriage. We may recommend a short course of hormonal birth control to normalize your cycle. If you’re overweight or have diabetes, we may also prescribe metformin.
Like APS, thrombophilia is clotting disorder that raises your risk for miscarriages. We may recommend a treatment of aspirin and heparin to increase your chances of a healthy pregnancy.
Another possible reason for recurrent miscarriage is that your cervix is too weak to hold a developing child. Or you may have overly large uterine fibroids or a misshapen cervix or uterus.
Your doctor can strengthen a weak cervix with a simple procedure. If you have large uterine fibroids, a surgery called myomectomy can remove them.
Unfortunately, both the number and quality of eggs decline as a woman ages. If you’re over age 35, we may recommend IVF. You then take fertility drugs that make you produce multiple eggs during a cycle. We only fertilize the healthy eggs and then only transfer a healthy embryo.
The healthier you are, the more likely you’ll be able to carry a baby to term. Although most of the reasons for recurrent miscarriage are beyond your immediate control, if you have unhealthy habits or untreated medical conditions, we encourage you to resolve them. We recommend:
You want a baby, and we can help. Find out what’s causing your recurrent miscarriage to get a customized treatment plan today: Contact us at 925-230-9471, or click the “Book online” button to request a consultation.