Recurrent miscarriage exists in women who have two or more miscarriages. Miscarriage is defined as the loss of a pregnancy before 20 weeks.
Early pregnancy loss is common, as it happens in about 10-20% of known pregnancies, but women should consider getting a thorough examination and specialized testing if they have three miscarriages.
Most miscarriages occur due to abnormal genes or chromosomes that stop the fetus from normal growth and development. It’s important to know that these abnormal genes do not come from an inherited health condition.
About half of all miscarriages are associated with extra or missing chromosomes that happen by chance during fertilization. One common chromosomal cause, called translocation, occurs when separate chromosomes swap small segments, creating an abnormal area on each chromosome.
A variety of other conditions may cause repeated miscarriage. Abnormalities in the uterus -- congenital problems that affect the structure of the uterus, uterine fibroids, polyps, and adhesions -- are all associated with miscarriage.
Medical conditions can also increase the risk of miscarriage. Diabetes, polycystic ovary syndrome, hypothyroidism, and an autoimmune disorder called antiphospholipid syndrome represent some of the top medical causes. In some cases, problems with the blood supply in the placenta lead to recurrent miscarriage.
The most important step in helping you overcome recurrent miscarriage is getting to the source of the problem. Your doctor at Rosh Maternal & Fetal Medicine begins with a review of your medical history, a thorough physical exam, diverse blood tests for hormones and health conditions, and ultrasound to view the structure of your uterus.
Your treatment could include medication for hormone imbalances or minimally-invasive surgery to correct problems in your reproductive organs. You may undergo hysteroscopy, which allows your doctor to examine tissues inside the uterus, remove polyps and fibroids, and correct structural abnormalities.
When an underlying health condition isn’t identified as the cause, your doctor may recommend genetic screening and testing. Should a chromosomal abnormality be found, the certified genetic counselor at Rosh Maternal & Fetal Medicine will talk with you about the type of abnormality, the chance of it affecting future pregnancies, and your options, such as in vitro fertilization.
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