Miscarriage is the loss of a pregnancy before 20 weeks and can be an extremely difficult time for a couple both physically and emotionally. A small percentage of couples are unfortunate enough to suffer from three or more miscarriages in a row, a condition called “recurrent miscarriage”.
In some cases there are definite underlying health issues which make it difficult to carry a pregnancy (chromosome abnormalities, blood clotting disorders, autoimmune diseases, structural problems with the uterus), but a significant number of cases are of “unknown” cause. This is a double edged sword as while it is reassuring to know that there is no underlying medical issue, it can be very frustrating when there is no cause to treat.
What can be done to help couples who have suffered repeated miscarriages?
Firstly, a thorough medical assessment of both parents to look for any of the known causes. This will usually involve some blood tests and usually an ultrasound of the pelvis for the woman (rarely some other imaging techniques like MRI). If there is any underlying cause found, then recommendations can be made for either medication or sometimes surgery to help fix the problem.
If the cause remains unexplained, then there are some treatments that may be offered, but the evidence for them is unfortunately not as convincing as we’d like.
The two most common treatments are either hCG (the pregnancy hormone) or progesterone supplementation in the early pregnancy. Other treatments such as aspirin, acupuncture or homeopathy have little evidence to support their use.
What is vital is having good information and psychological support through what can be a very difficult time.
It is important to remember is that a high proportion of women who suffer recurrent miscarriages do go on to have successful pregnancies (2/3 of women within 5 years of the first visit to a doctor).
You may like to visit the following sites for further information.
The above information doesn’t take the place of a medical consultation so please seek further advice if you have further concerns.