What is miscarriage and recurrent pregnancy loss?
Until fairly recently, miscarriage has been a taboo subject when discussing fertility. Celebrities, public figures, and popular social media accounts drawing attention to pregnancy loss have dramatically improved how society discusses and treats these heartbreaking losses. The reality of miscarriage is that, according to the Mayo Clinic, there are more than 3 million cases per year. Nearly 8 out of 10 happen in the first trimester of pregnancy, and 10-20% of pregnancies end in miscarriage. While some women may never experience a miscarriage, many women will experience at least one pregnancy loss during multiple pregnancies, and some women may experience multiple consecutive losses.
Miscarriage is when an embryo or fetus spontaneously dies before the 20th week of pregnancy.
Miscarriage can be caused by a wide range of factors including a fetus that’s not developing normally due to genetic or chromosomal abnormalities, or due to hormone issues, thyroid disease, diabetes, uterine abnormalities, infection, or physical issues in the mother. While most women who experience a miscarriage will go on to have a healthy next pregnancy, in some cases recurrent pregnancy loss (two or more consecutive miscarriages) occurs.
Diagnosing recurrent pregnancy loss
In cases where a women has experienced two or more consecutive miscarriages, Dr. Andrew Levi may suggest testing your uterus through a sonohysterogram or hysteroscopy, taking blood samples (including chromosomal testing for you and your partner), and conducting a biopsy of the uterine lining. During the evaluation, Dr. Levi will discuss all your options thoroughly.
Treating recurrent pregnancy loss
After these tests, Dr. Levi will meet with you to discuss which treatment options may increase your success at becoming pregnant. Some recurrent miscarriages may be corrected through medication or simple procedures to improve your uterine environment. In cases of repeated unexplained miscarriages or known chromosomal issues, in vitro fertilization (IVF) coupled with preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) may be the route needed to achieve pregnancy as this process helps to determine the healthiest embryos to implant.
Coping with miscarriage and finding help
Even though early pregnancy loss has become more openly discussed, many women still keep their pregnancy a secret through the first trimester which makes receiving emotional support extremely difficult. Even after nine months, 18% of women were suffering from post-traumatic stress, 17% had moderate to severe anxiety, and 6% had moderate to severe depression following a miscarriage.
Miscarriage, especially recurrent pregnancy loss does not have to mean that you will not experience the joy of pregnancy and parenthood! Our expert Connecticut fertility centers have helped countless individuals and couples successfully navigate infertility into successful pregnancies. We look forward to helping you, too.
To contact our center, call us at 203-372-6700 or schedule an appointment online.