Infertility Treatment in MD, VA & DC at Shady Grove Fertility

Recurrent Miscarriage

Recurrent miscarriage is defined as two (2) or more consecutive, spontaneous pregnancy losses.

Approximately 20 percent of pregnancies end in miscarriage, which is defined as the loss of a pregnancy before 20 weeks of gestation. Most miscarriages occur within the first 12 weeks of gestation. Recurrent miscarriage, also known as recurrent pregnancy loss, is commonly defined as 2 or more miscarriages.

When miscarriage occurs this frequently, there may be an underlying cause such as a genetic defect. Other causes include an abnormally shaped uterus, uterine fibroids, scar tissue in the uterus which may hinder implantation or growth of the fetus.

Hormonal imbalances of prolactin, thyroid hormone or progesterone can result in miscarriage. Illnesses such as diabetes mellitus or immune system abnormalities may increase the chance of miscarriage.

Diagnostic Tests to Determine the Causes of Miscarriage

Your medical history, a pelvic exam, and one or more of the tests listed below are necessary in diagnosing possible causes of your recurring miscarriages:

  • Karyotype - a mapping of your chromosomes, used to diagnose genetic defects
  • Hysterosalpingogram - a procedure that uses x-rays and a special dye to evaluate the shape of the inside of your uterus
  • Hysteroscopy - a procedure in which your doctor uses a narrow fiberoptic telescope inserted into the uterus to look inside your uterine cavity
  • Vaginal ultrasound - a scan that uses high frequency sound waves to detect abnormalities in and around the uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes
  • Blood hormone levels - blood tests that reveal the levels of certain hormones in your blood, such as prolactin, thyroid, and progesterone
  • Endometrial biopsy - a procedure in which a sample of your endometrial tissue is examined under a microscope to determine if it is appropriately developed for an implanting embryo
  • Glucose screening - a blood test used to diagnose diabetes mellitus which, if left uncontrolled, increases the likelihood of miscarriage
  • Antibodies tests - blood tests used to detect an immune system abnormality

Common Questions

Q Are there any risk factors associated with miscarriage?
A The risk of miscarriage increases with increasing age, especially in women over the age of 35. Smoking, caffeine, and alcohol increase your risk of miscarriage. Also, some medications, including those you can buy without a prescription, may increase your risk.
 
Q What treatments are available to me?
A Treatment is individualized based on findings from testing. Problems with the shape of the uterus or fibroids can be corrected with surgery. Some immune problems or hormone imbalances can be corrected with medication. Often times no cause for the miscarriage is found. Even if no cause is found, there is still a good chance that eventually you will deliver a healthy baby. (60% after 3 miscarriages).

Fertile couples wih repeated miscarriages should be evaluated for the presence of a chromosomal abnormality. The female or male partner may be a carrier of a balanced translocation or be an aneuploid mosaic.

For more information on recurrent miscarriage, please call 1-888-761-1967 or schedule an appointment for an initial consultation with one of our physicians.

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