Miscarriage is devastating for any parent. The heartbreak and agony of losing a pregnancy so dearly hoped for can easily turn one of the happiest occasions into one of the saddest moments in your life. And the emotional repercussions of miscarriage follow you through any future pregnancies you may have.
When a couple, or individual, experiences multiple miscarriages, it can be difficult to move forward. You’re not only grieving the loss of your babies, but you begin to doubt yourself and question if you’ll ever be able to carry a baby to term. You’re fraught with concerns about your own health, and fertility wellness of you and your partner.l
Well-meaning friends and family members may ply you with platitudes and encourage you to relax (ha!) and try again. Even your physician may attempt to calm your fears by telling you that many pregnancies actually end in early miscarriage. For your own peace of mind, and in order to move forward and try again, you need to know what went wrong, and if it’s even possible to pursue another pregnancy.
The Cause of Your Miscarriage
Multiple miscarriage, referred to as recurrent pregnancy loss, or RPL, is defined as three or more losses, occurring consecutively, prior to 20 weeks gestation. The term has recently been redefined by the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, down to two losses, from the previous three losses. In any event, if you’ve had more than 2 miscarriages, you are likely nervous about trying again without some medical answers.
Most of the time, miscarriage occurs because of a chromosomal abnormality, the embryo received an abnormal amount of chromosomes during fertilization. While this type of miscarriage seems to be a random occurrence, the likelihood of chromosomal miscarriage increases with maternal age. Neither the woman, not her partner, can anticipate this type of pregnancy loss.
In some cases of RPL, one of the partners has a chromosome which attaches to another chromosome, in a process called translocation. There are no symptoms of this issue, and no every egg, or sperm, will have abnormal chromosomes, however too many chromosomes leads to miscarriage.
Obviously there can be some physical causes of RPL. Malformation of the uterus, for example, or a scarred uterine wall, can be responsible for your multiple miscarriages, as can certain conditions and diseases. Autoimmune and blood-clotting disorders, diabetes, obesity and PCOS are a few of the known conditions that can account for repeated miscarriages.
Treatment to Aid in Fertility and Prevent Loss
Whatever the reason, or lack of reason, behind your RPL, there is hope for a healthy, full-term, pregnancy, resulting in the birth of a healthy baby. In the case of physical causes, such as uterine malformations, you will likely need to have surgery to correct the problem. For those with an underlying medical condition, such as clotting disorders, autoimmune disease, and diabetes, you can have healthy pregnancy with the help of certain medications. If PCOS is discovered to be at the root of your RPL, your physician will take a customized approach to treating your fertility and your ongoing health.
If no cause for your RPL is uncovered, you can still go forward and plan to become pregnant. Under the care of a fertility specialist, about 65% of women for whom there was no known cause for their multiple miscarriages went on to experience a healthy pregnancy and successful outcome.
The ultimate treatment for repeated miscarriages is In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) and genetic testing of embryos before implantation called preimplantation genetic testing (PGT). This approach allows testing of chromosomal abnormalities at the level of the embryo before pregnancy I established. When you select the normal from the abnormal ones and place the chromosomally normal embryo inside your uterus that is indeed healthy, your chances of a successful full term pregnancy without a miscarriage and a live birth increases dramatically.
Why You Need a Doctor Who Specializes in RPL
No two cases of RPL are exactly alike. That’s why it’s vital for you to see a physician who specializes in treating RPL. The key to the success of your future pregnancies is the intervention of a fertility specialist who is knowledgeable and experienced. There are many procedures and treatments available to ensure your future attempts at a healthy pregnancy are positive, and choosing a physician who is experienced in these treatments is essential.
At LA IVF, we have experience in treating RPL, with successful outcomes. Our state-of-the-art clinics specialize in innovative treatments that result in families. Dr. Aykut Bayrak, treat all of our patients with care and compassion, so important when you’ve experienced RPL. We’re with you all the way through your journey to parenthood.