What is repeated miscarriage?
A miscarriage is when a pregnancy ends on its own before a woman has been pregnant for 20 weeks. “Repeated miscarriage” is the term doctors use when a woman has 2 or more miscarriages in a row.
What causes repeated miscarriage?
In some cases, repeated miscarriage is caused by:
- Chromosome problems in the fetus – A “fetus” is what a baby is called while it is growing inside a woman. Chromosomes are structures in cells that contain thousands of genes. Chromosome problems usually happen by chance. But sometimes they happen because the mother or father has a chromosome problem. They also happen more often in older mothers.
- Conditions in which something changes the shape of the inside of the uterus
- An autoimmune condition in the mother – When a woman has an autoimmune condition, her infection-fighting system attacks healthy tissue in her body instead of infections.
- Other medical conditions in the mother – Some of these include diabetes, thyroid disease, blood clotting problems, or hormone problems.
In many cases, though, doctors don’t know why repeated miscarriage happens.
How will my doctor figure out why I am having repeated miscarriage?
To figure out why you are having repeated miscarriage, your doctor will:
- Talk with you and ask about your past pregnancies, monthly periods, and medical conditions
- Do an exam, including a pelvic exam
- Do blood tests – These include tests to check your immune system, blood clotting system, and hormone levels. They also include tests to check for certain medical conditions, such as thyroid disease or diabetes.
- Do an imaging test to check your uterus – Your doctor can do different types of imaging tests to check your uterus. One common test is a special type of ultrasound. (An ultrasound uses sound waves to create images of the inside of the body.)
- Do a test to look inside your uterus – This involves having a thin tube with a camera and light on the end put into your vagina and up into your uterus.
- Do chromosome tests on you and the baby’s father – Before and after the testing, you will talk with a genetic counselor. This is a person who specializes in genetic problems.
You might have other tests, too, depending on your individual situation.
How is repeated miscarriage treated?
If your doctor finds a possible cause that can be treated, he or she will treat it. Treatment might help improve your chances of having a successful pregnancy.
For example, problems in the uterus can sometimes be treated with surgery. Certain medical, immune, or hormone problems can sometimes be treated with medicines.
Is there anything I can do on my own to avoid another miscarriage?
There is no sure way to avoid having another miscarriage. But you might be able to lower your chances of having one by avoiding
cigarettes, alcohol, caffeine, and any injury to your belly. You can also try to stay at a healthy weight.
Will I be able to have a baby someday?
Many women who have repeated miscarriage are able to have a baby in the future.
Let your doctor know when you are planning to become pregnant and then as soon as you think you are pregnant. That way, he or she can treat you with hormones or other treatments. Also, your doctor will be able to monitor your pregnancy as much as possible so you can have a successful pregnancy.
How can I get support if I’m having a hard time coping?
Having repeated miscarriage can be very tough. If you are having a hard time coping, talk to your doctor or nurse. He or she can help you find a counselor to talk to. Some people also find it helpful to go to a support group for people who are in the same situation