One of the most heartbreaking experiences a woman trying to have a baby may encounter is recurrent pregnancy loss, or miscarriage.
Unfortunately, this is not an uncommon phenomenon. Approximately 25% percent of all pregnancies will end in this way, usually during the first trimester. It is estimated that fewer than 5% of women will experience two consecutive miscarriages and only 1% experience three or more. While the cause of the miscarriage will not be discovered 50% of the time, it is important to remember that most women who undergo this ordeal will ultimately go on to have a healthy baby.
Recurrent pregnancy loss is defined as having two or more failed pregnancies. If you find yourself in this position it is imperative that you be thoroughly evaluated by a specialist in order to attempt to determine the cause of the losses and, therefore, decrease your risk, if possible, of subsequent miscarriages.
There are a number of potential causes of recurrent pregnancy loss. These include:
- Genetic or chromosomal causes
- Advanced maternal age
- Poor egg quality
- Hormonal abnormalities
- Undetected infections, such as chlamydia
- Metabolic issues such as diabetes, obesity, polycystic ovaries or thyroid disorders
- Uterine cavity distortion caused by a variety of anatomic factors such as fibroids, polyps, scar tissue, or a uterine septum
- Asherman’s syndrome (scar tissue in the uterine cavity)
- Celiac disease
- Thrombophilia (tendency towards the formation of blood clots)