Pregnancy and Babycare: Recurrent Miscarriage

Pregnancy and Babycare: Recurrent Miscarriage

Approximately 2/3 of human conceptions fail to achieve viability and an estimated 50% are lost before the first missed menstrual period.

A bad pregnancy history does not mean that you will always suffer from miscarriage or infertility. It does not mean that you can never have a baby. Most women who have had one or more miscarriages go on to have a healthy baby.

The most common reason for recurrent miscarriages is genetic abnormalities or chromosomal defects. It has been estimated that approximately 70% of all miscarriages are caused by some form of chromosomal defects that lead to spontaneous miscarriage. Some other common reasons for recurrent miscarriages are:

  • Uterine abnormalities such as uterine synechiae
  • Age of either the husband or wife
  • Autoimmune disorders, in which the body tissues are attacked by body’s own immune system
  • Incompetent cervix
  • Infections
  • Endometriosis
  • Chronic disorders such as diabetes or high blood pressure or thyroid disorders
  • Congenital anatomic abnormalities
  • Hormonal causes

After an experience of 2 or more miscarriages, you are advised to consult a doctor before you try to conceive again. The doctor will suggest a medical work-up to look for the potential causes for the miscarriages. This medical investigation will include all or some of the following tests:

  • Chromosome analysis or ‘Karotype’ test
  • Genetic tests
  • Blood tests for hormone levels, infections and certain antibodies.
  • Evaluation of the woman’s uterus
  • Blood tests for blood clotting factors
  • Other specific tests on either the husband or wife, as indicated by their medical histories

Most of the physicians recommend waiting for two complete menstrual cycles prior to re-attempting pregnancy, for the woman who has had recurrent miscarriages. People with chromosome changes are at a significant risk for miscarriage with each conception. In such a case, you are advised to consult a genetic counsellor who can help you find a solution by either discussing about your personal and family health history or by recommending genetic testing for you. Genetic testing can reveal a lot of information that you need to know in order to avoid the risks during pregnancy and child birth and have a healthy pregnancy and baby.

Some couples also resort to IVF (in vitro fertilization) and PGD (pre-implantation genetic diagnosis), in order to select embryos or fertilized egg free of unbalanced chromosomes abnormalities, which are more likely to create ongoing healthy pregnancies. Also by this technique of testing embryos prior to transfer to the mother’s uterus, you and your IVF doctor have the opportunity to choose those embryos for transfer which are most likely to have normal chromosomes that have least chances of getting miscarried.

So, even if you have had recurrent miscarriages, do not get disheartened and have no fear. Learn how to deal with it and combat all your worries before you get pregnant again. Always remember one thing; past performance does not predict future results.

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