Recurrent Pregnancy Loss: Can Treatment Help?
- Posted on: Sep 30 2013
Recurrent pregnancy loss is a surprisingly common occurrence, effecting 4-5% of the female reproductive age population..
Approximately 15% to 20% of all clinically recognized pregnancies end in spontaneous miscarriage. Traditionally, a woman is not diagnosed as having recurrent pregnancy loss until she has lost at least two pregnancies. While it is common for women to lose a single pregnancy is less common that they lose 2 or 3 pregnancies in a row. Only 4% of women will have more than one pregnancy loss.
Most spontaneous miscarriages are usually the result of an abnormal pregnancy. About 80% of first trimester pregnancy losses are believed to be due to chromosomal abnormalities in the baby. However, women with recurrent loss may have other issues leading to the miscarriages. Problems with the shape of the uterus, implantation, genetic issues, etc. may lead to pregnancy losses in women who have had multiple miscarriages.
Chances of Recurrent Pregnancy Loss
So, if you have experienced two or more pregnancy losses, it is possible that these miscarriages were caused by abnormal pregnancies, but there may be an underlying condition or specific abnormality preventing you from maintaining a pregnancy to term.
- Hormones imbalances
- Thyroid dysfunction
- Poor egg quality
- Abnormal blood clotting, or auto-immune diseases such as Lupus
- And more
If you have been diagnosed with Recurrent Pregnancy Loss, can treatment help?
Treatment for Recurrent Pregnancy Loss
Before there can be any treatment for Recurrent Pregnancy Loss, tests must be performed to try and identify its cause. Here are some of the most common tests to determine the exact reason for Recurrent Pregnancy Loss:
- Karyotypes to test chromosomes in the parents
- Saline Infusion sonography to check uterine anatomy
- Blood tests to evaluate common hormone problems
- Blood tests to check for common immunologic/ clotting problems
70% of the time a cause is found for the Recurrent Pregnancy Loss but many times, it isn’t.
The good news is that if you have had repeated spontaneous miscarriages and testing doesn’t disclose any cause, you have a good chance of going on to have a normal pregnancy. Those with unexplained causes have an estimated 77% chance of having a healthy pregnancy and 71% of women with an abnormality discovered will go on to have a baby (after the abnormality was treated).
Treatment depends on the cause of the Recurrent loss and can range from surgery to medication to IVF. Sometimes In Vitro Fertilization with Pre-implantation Genetic diagnosis is effective in treating Recurrent Pregnancy Loss so that a genetically healthy pregnancy may occur.
The treatment for Recurrent Pregnancy Loss will depend on the individual.
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