Mothers fall in love with the idea of having a baby, and the realisation that this desire will not become a reality is a heartbreaking blow, whether it be at 6 weeks or 16 weeks.
The loss of a pregnancy is a devastating experience. But what if it keeps on happening again and again?
Miscarriage also known as ‘spontaneous abortion’ is the unwanted loss of foetus that occurs either from conception up to 20 weeks before it is able to survive independently while some occur before the 14th week of pregnancy.
The Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health found that for every three women who gave birth in their early 30s, one has had a miscarriage. But for some instances, a miscarriage may come as frequent.
Repeated or recurrent miscarriage occurs when a woman has suffered two, three or more miscarriages in a row. It manifests to at least 2% of women who are trying to have a baby. Having multiple miscarriage may leave you hopeless in bearing a child but let this article help you with the necessary facts you should know in understanding repeated miscarriages.
Why Does It Happen
If you have just gone to a recent miscarriage, you might have asked yourself the same.
Even if women can have up to 3 or even 4 miscarriages, there’s still a possibility that the next pregnancy might turn out successful. About half of all early miscarriages happen may be due to the parent’s genetic material (chromosomes) combined during fertilisation.
Other factors that can make a miscarriage more likely include:
- Immune system problems
- Existing infections
- Maternal age – half of all pregnancies in women over the age of 42 end in miscarriage
- Reproductive system problems
- Health problems, such as poorly controlled diabetes, a kidney disease or polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
- Alcohol consumption and smoking whilst pregnant
In the case of repeat miscarriages, a GP may refer to a gynaecologist to have some tests in order to rule out a specific cause. Possible causes include:
- Hormonal disturbance
- Inherited genetic problems
- Abnormalities of the womb increases chances of chromosomal abnormalities
- Increased maternal age which decreases fertility and increases chances of chromosomal abnormalities
Recurrent Miscarriage with IVF
The non-implantation of artificially inseminated embryos is a complete mystery to the medical profession. No IVF specialist can account for why this happens, apart from the reasons mentioned that affect women who are lucky enough to fall pregnant naturally. Even though these embryos are usually screened for chromosomal abnormalities, this does not seem to affect the effectiveness of avoiding miscarriage in IVF. Ironically, so much care is taken in the fertilisation and insemination procedure yet recurrent implantation failure with IVF is still quite high.
What To Do
Many women who have suffered recurrent miscarriages find comfort in talking to others who have experienced the same thing. Forums and chat rooms can provide comfort, hope, advice and tips on what worked for those who eventually become successful in getting, and staying, pregnant full term. The most important step to take after several miscarriages is to consult your GP, to determine whether there are underlying medical problems that could affect you, your partner and any potential children. Unfortunately, it is a matter of time, with many couples told to wait a while after miscarriages before trying to conceive again or started fertility treatments, which can be excruciatingly frustrating for these women who just want to carry a healthy baby to full term.
The important fact to remember is that the chance for a subsequent ongoing pregnancy, even after 3 recurrent miscarriages, is still high at 70%, providing all test results are within normal range. Do not lose hope. With the right support and care, you will soon be growing a precious life.
What’s the best advice you can give to mums who suffered from repeated miscarriages?