Miscarriage is an unpleasant and nasty experience for women. The entire happiness of conceiving a child may be lost with the loss of the foetus, creating a sense of unbearable stress or trauma. Some women may face two or more consecutive miscarriages, a condition known as recurrent miscarriage.
Women who lose their foetus repeatedly are often surrounded by certain myths. However, the facts about them are totally the opposite.
Myth #1: Recurrent miscarriage means that you are not taking enough care during pregnancy.
Fact: It may be a possibility, but not the only reason. There are several factors that may lead to recurrent loss of pregnancy. Cervical weakness, abnormal shape of the uterus, age-related infertility, congenital disorders, genetic abnormalities, decreased immune tolerance toward foetus, recurrent infection and blood clotting disorders are some of the common reasons behind recurrent miscarriage.
Miscarriage also results from hormonal reasons.
- Thyroid dysfunction
- high prolactin levels
- inadequate progesterone
Blood clotting disorder is the most common reason behind recurrent miscarriage. In such cases, there is inadequate blood supply to the growing foetus from the mother that is the placenta leading to eventual foetal death.
Myth #2: Recurrent miscarriage results only because of the mother.
Fact: Sometimes certain chromosomal abnormalities are present in either of the partners that lead to miscarriage. In such cases, a karyotype( chromosomal analysis) of both the partners is performed in case the woman suffers from repeated miscarriage. Even though chromosomal defects may be the reason of recurrent miscarriage in less than 5% of couples, yet it’s an important etiology to be ruled out.
Newer studies also point to the role of poor sperm quality or DNA damage in the sperm as a reason of miscarriages in few patients. Hence it is important to evaluate both partners thoroughly for any reason for failed pregnancies.
Myth #3: Recurrent miscarriage does not require any diagnosis.
Fact: Getting a comprehensive evaluation done is important to increase the chances of a future successful pregnancy. Your doctor may conduct karyotyping, ultrasound and a few blood tests to evaluate the actual reason of recurrent miscarriage.
However, thorough and comprehensive evaluation may help make pregnancy successful in more than 80% of the women. Even if the reason remains unexplained, the key point is to start treatment as soon as pregnancy is diagnosed (positive Hpt) with positive motivational therapy which helps to prevent a further miscarriage in as many as 90% of the patients.
Myth #4: There is no treatment available and the overall prognosis is poor .
Fact: Once the doctor identifies the actual reason behind, treatment may be initiated accordingly. For mother’s immune intolerance toward foetus may be treated with the help of immunotherapy, an increased risk of clotting may be reduced with the help of anticoagulants and women may even be supplied with a hormone called hCG to improve chances of successful pregnancy.
With further advances in science, couples with unexplained recurrent miscarriage or those with 1 partner having a chromosomal abnormality can now undergo IVF with PGD to help select chromosomally normal embryos and help prevent a future miscarriage successfully. For more details on PGD, click here.
Myth #5: Women with recurrent miscarriage can never become a mother.
Fact: While it may seem a little unreal, women with a history of recurrent miscarriage can definitely conceive a child naturally or with the help of IVF. In fact, more than 80-90 percent of women who have had two or three miscarriages in the past are able to conceive successfully after getting treated.