Of all pregnancies, only 15%-20% end in miscarriage, but only around 5% of women have multiple losses. Losing a child that you were so excited to bring into this world is an unimaginable pain that could never be described with words. Sometimes, one miscarriage can lead to another, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a possibility of birthing healthy babies in the future. A recurrent miscarriage is defined as two or more consecutive pregnancy losses – those losses further defined as a pregnancy spontaneously ending before 20 weeks.
What Causes Recurrent Miscarriages?
There are a variety of possible causes for a recurrent miscarriage – most, to no fault of the mother. It’s a tough reality to process and often makes women look inward at if they may have worked too much, exercised too hard, or had too much caffeine every morning. Most miscarriages happen due to abnormalities in the uterus that are beyond control of the mother without comprehensive care, attention, and planning from her healthcare provider.
Common in up to 80% of early pregnancy losses, a genetic abnormality is when one or both parents pass down an abnormal chromosome during fertilization. Sometimes, these abnormalities are repeatedly passed down, resulting in subsequent miscarriages. Considering health history, the mother or her partner can find out more information through a blood test to check for balanced translocation – when a piece of a chromosome breaks off and attaches to another, causing chromosomal flaws in the baby.
Other common, congenital problems that increase the risk of recurrent miscarriages are an irregularly shaped womb or a double uterus divided into two sections by a wall of tissue. Since these abnormalities don’t typically come with symptoms, most women don’t know there is an issue until an ultrasound scan is performed. Fortunately, these problems can be fixed by surgery prior to conception.
Preexisting Medical Conditions
Recurrent pregnancy loss can also be tied to medical conditions existing before gestation, such as:
- Thyroid issues – Heightened reproductive hormones can affect development of the uterine lining, causing improper nourishment and implantation of the embryo.
- Antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) – An autoimmune disorder in which the body mistakenly produces antibodies that make your blood more likely to clot in the arteries, veins, and organs.
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) – A condition that causes women to produce higher amounts of male hormones, possibly resulting in small ovarian cysts.
Preventing Recurrent Miscarriages With My Obstetrician
If you have a history of recurrent miscarriages or would like to know if you are at risk, your providers at Women’s HealthFirst can help guide you through this tough time. We combine your historical and current health with our breadth of knowledge and resources to guide you in the direction of a safe delivery.
For more information, call Women’s HealthFirst at (847) 808-8884 or request your appointment now. We have five locations near Chicago, Illinois, to serve you. Established patients are encouraged to visit the convenient online patient portal to request an appointment, message our team, update their records, and more.