Pregnancy loss or miscarriage is a traumatic experience, especially when pregnancy is achieved through fertility treatment. If a miscarriage happens again & again or recurrent pregnancy loss is there, it is an emotionally devastating condition.
What do you mean by Recurrent Pregnancy Loss?
Recurrent Pregnancy Loss is defined as three consecutive pregnancy losses. Even biochemical pregnancies or pregnancies with the only beta – hCG positive blood tests but no pregnancy seen on ultrasound are also considered in the definition of recurrent pregnancy loss. It is also categorized into primary or secondary depending on whether a normal pregnancy has happened previously or not. If it is secondary, the prognosis is better.
How common is recurrent pregnancy loss or miscarriage?
While miscarriage is quite common and affects approximately 15% pregnancies, recurrent pregnancy loss or consecutive miscarriages are seen only in approximately 1-2% couples, so this condition affects approximately 1 in 100 couples.
Why recurrent pregnancy loss does occur?
There can be many reasons or factors causing recurrent pregnancy loss. However, it is important to understand that in almost half of patients, no discernible cause can be found.
What are the risks of subsequent miscarriages?
As the number of miscarriages increase, the chances of further miscarriage also increase. After 3 miscarriages, the risk of subsequent miscarriage is approximately 30% so there are almost 70% chances of carrying a normal pregnancy, even after 3 miscarriages. But this is not a blanket statement as with advancing age of mother, the risk of subsequent miscarriage is higher. This may due to poor egg quality in women with advanced age. So in a woman who is approximately 40, her risk of miscarriage is as high as 40% and a woman of 45 years, has an 80% risk of miscarrying.
How can I prevent miscarriage or pregnancy loss?
If you are suffering from pregnancy loss, it is a good idea to see a gynecologist evaluate for the causes of pregnancy loss. The common reasons are high blood sugar, elevated thyroid levels, and abnormalities in the structure of uterus to name a few. To detect these disorders your doctor may advise blood tests as well as a specialized investigation like hysteroscopy. Also, an immunological blood test might be done to look for specific causes.
Is IVF the treatment for recurrent miscarriages?
IVF as such does not prevent recurrent pregnancy loss. But in IVF we can do preimplantation genetic testing to look for chromosomal abnormalities in the embryo, hence transfer only embryos which are normal. When PGT-A is done in IVF. It does reduce your risk of miscarriage. Also inpatient with genetic issues, IVF donor eggs or sperms can be used to reduce miscarriage risk.
So to summarize don’t lose heart, help is just a click away. Do book your appointment with our Infertility specialist in Delhi, Dr. Prerna Gupta for a detailed consultation.