How common is miscarriage

Although it would be fair to say that one single miscarriage is one too many, the truth is miscarriage is quite common, and 1 in 4 women will suffer at least one pregnancy loss in their lives.

That’s 25% of the female population and if you thought the number was much lower, it’s not because it is, but because of the taboo still surrounding miscarriage.

People tend not to talk about topics that hurt them a lot, and miscarriage is a harrowing topic. People do not want to be pitied, and in certain cultures, the inability to procreate is frowned upon- and this adds a final layer of sadness and frustration for the couple trying to conceive.

And although you might think that miscarriage refers strictly to early loss of pregnancy, there are, actually, several types of miscarriages:

Early miscarriage is a loss of pregnancy before the end of the first trimester. 80% of miscarriages happen in the 1st trimester.

Biochemical pregnancy is a very early loss, usually before week 5 of pregnancy. Unless very accurate in cycle tracking and very in tune with their bodies, many women might not even realise they were pregnant and they might take the miscarriage bleeding for a more abundant period.

Incomplete miscarriage happens when the embryo stops developing, but there is no bleeding nor pain. This type of miscarriage is usually randomly detected during an ultrasound exam. Sometimes, what alerts the woman is the fact that pregnancy symptoms diminish, instead of increasing.

Late miscarriage is a loss occurring during the second trimester of pregnancy, between weeks 13 and 24. At 24 weeks a pregnancy is considered to have reached viability, therefore from that week on we are no longer talking about miscarriage but of premature birth.

Main causes for recurrent miscarriage

A miscarriage may be a fluke, a one-time occurrence, and however unfortunate that might be, there is usually not much one can do to prevent it.

For other people though, miscarriages may occur more than once, and there are multiple causes for this:

Chromosomal issues are the main cause of miscarriage, amounting to up to 50% of them.

Autoimmune disorders: like Lupus, Crohn’s, Addison’s or Rheumatoid Arthritis may cause miscarriage, but many patients with autoimmune conditions have successful pregnancies, under treatment and monitoring by their specialized doctors.

Endocrine issues: hormones need to be balanced for pregnancy to occur and to go to term. Thyroid problems may prevent conception or cause miscarriage.

Clotting disorders can be prevented with specific treatment and monitored throughout the pregnancy.

Cervical incompetence is one of the main causes of late loss and it can be prevented with the help of a cerclage, be it transvaginal (temporary cervical stitch) or abdominal (permanent transabdominal bandelet placed at the base of the uterus)

Infections left untreated, like Chlamydia, Syphilis, Gonorrhea, Bacterial Vaginosis or Ureaplasma may cause premature rupture of membranes and either miscarriage or premature birth.

Uterine abnormalities: Asherman’s, polyps, fibroids, uterine septum.

Preventing recurrent miscarriage/treatment

Most couples would decide to try and start a family without thinking that they might have any issues or that something might go wrong. And that’s totally ok! Most pregnancies worldwide occur naturally and most couples will not experience miscarriage.

But for those who do, it’s important to realise that something is off and to know that there are ways modern medicine can help treat issues causing miscarriage and prevent recurrent miscarriages from happening.

At ART Fertility Clinics we have the best facilities and the most knowledgeable and compassionate team so that we can diagnose what causes your recurrent miscarriage and offer you a personalized treatment plan so you can lead a healthy pregnancy to term and go home with a healthy baby in your arms.

Our experts are best placed to assess you, treat you and offer you counselling.

You will need to undergo a full panel of blood tests, and scans of your reproductive system, to detect potential causes for miscarriage. You may also undergo a couple’s genetic compatibility test, to predict the potential genetic issues of offspring.

At ART, we diagnose and we treat, so we can prevent further losses.

Preparing for pregnancy after miscarriage

Not only is miscarriage a very traumatic experience, but it is also capable of robbing you of the joy of future pregnancies.

The stress and fear of experiencing yet another miscarriage is, alas, a fact, and many couples not only keep to themselves but also tend not to communicate with each other about this.

But as is the case with everything in life, a burden shared is a burden halved! Finding the appropriate support is essential, to get through the journey without feeling alone.

And while there is not much that you, as a person, may do-especially if your miscarriages have a clear medical cause that needs specific treatment, there are some areas where you could always make a difference, and they regard your general health and well-being, which are very important for a healthy and successful pregnancy:

Diet. We are what we eat, so even if your weight is optimal, it’s important to make sure you have a healthy and nutritious diet, with more fibre, vitamins and healthy fats, and less sugar and processed foods. If your weight is a bit off the whack, keep in mind that, as per studies, lowering your weight by as little as 10% can improve chances of pregnancy.

Exercise. It is important for your overall health, and it doesn’t have to feel like training for a marathon! Light jogging and even long walks may do wonders in regards to your cardiovascular health and they may improve blood flow to the uterus.

Sleep. It impacts your mood, your strength, your cells. We need sleep to balance our hormones, so make sure you sleep at least 7 hours a night!

Stress. We know this is easier said than done, but being less stressed is better for you when you are trying to conceive. Anything that helps you feel better is a good option: yoga, meditation, a new hobby, music, or a miscarriage support group so you can talk to people who have walked in your shoes.

Last but not least: make an appointment with one of our specialists, in one of our fertility centers.

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