Surprisingly, many pregnancies are lost even before a woman knows that she is pregnant. Bleeding and uterine cramping are common symptoms of an early pregnancy loss. Most pregnancy losses occur in the first trimester, prior to eight weeks of pregnancy.
Having two or three consecutive miscarriages is a condition termed "recurrent pregnancy loss." Recurrent pregnancy loss can be caused by problems with the uterus (including fibroids or intrauterine scarring), genetic problems with the male or female partner (leading to problems with eggs or sperm) and endocrine problems such as thyroid disease or diabetes. For about half of affected couples who are fully evaluated for recurrent pregnancy loss, the cause(s) remains unknown. This is called, "unexplained recurrent pregnancy loss."
If you are concerned about your ability to have a child, fertility specialists at Reproductive Medicine Associates (RMA) at Jefferson in Philadelphia can evaluate the cause(s) of repeated miscarriage and will work with you to achieve a successful pregnancy.
How is Recurrent Pregnancy Loss Evaluated?
If you are experiencing recurrent pregnancy loss, our evaluation of common causes may include a saline infusion ultrasound (SIS/SHG) or hysteroscopy to look for the presence of fibroids, polyps, congenital malformations or scar tissue in the uterus.
Among women who have had three consecutive unexplained miscarriages, there remains a 70 percent chance that the subsequent pregnancy will be entirely normal. This is because the majority of all miscarriages are due to genetic abnormalities of the fetus that typically do not recur. Other causes of miscarriage include hormonal problems (thyroid disease and diabetes) in the female, abnormal parental chromosomes (i.e., genetic causes that can recur), prior infections affecting the uterus, problems with lifestyle (smoking, drug use, etc.) and increasing female age.
At RMA at Jefferson, both female and male partners are tested for genetic abnormalities. Extensive blood testing for the female partner is performed to rule out endocrine and immune disorders that can contribute to miscarriage.
A woman's increasing age is a significant risk factor for recurrent pregnancy loss largely related to diminishing egg quality over time. Our fertility specialists can assess this risk factor with ovarian reserve testing.
How is Recurrent Pregnancy Loss Treated?
It is important to recognize that the likelihood of having a successful pregnancy often remains high in couples who have experienced multiple pregnancy losses.
Therapies for recurrent pregnancy loss will depend upon the underlying cause of the losses. Many women with unexplained recurrent pregnancy loss are treated with ovulation induction medication or luteal phase progesterone support.
In vitro fertilization (IVF) with PGD (preimplantation genetic diagnosis), which tests the embryos for chromosomal abnormalities before the embryos are transferred to the uterus, is an effective therapy that enhances fertility potential and minimizes the risk of chromosomal problems leading to another loss.
Why Choose Jefferson for Recurrent Pregnancy Loss Treatment?
The RMA at Jefferson team is committed to providing you with the latest and best treatment options for multiple miscarriages, as well as emotional support to address your personal needs. Our counselors use a variety of techniques to help you through this stressful time including various relaxation techniques.
We are extremely proud of our pregnancy success rates with in vitro fertilization.
Schedule an Appointment with a Fertility Expert
To schedule an appointment with one of our fertility specialists, please call 215-922-1556.
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