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Miscarriage is one of the most painful occurrences that couples face. This is especially true for couples who have invested time and emotional stress undergoing fertility therapies. Recurrent miscarriage is especially devastating and is defined as two or more consecutive pregnancy losses prior to 24 weeks gestation but occurs most often in the first trimester.
A number of different conditions exist that will lead to a higher chance of miscarriage and are outlined below:
Uterine anomalies are a common cause and are classified as congenital (from birth) or acquired (develop over time). An example of a congenital anomaly is a uterine septum, which is an area within the uterus which is felt to provide poor blood supply to a developing fetus.
An example of an acquired anomaly is a tumor such as a polyp or fibroid. These anomalies are usually discovered by ultrasound, hysterosalpingogram, or hysteroscopy and can usually be surgically corrected on an outpatient basis.
Medical conditions that alter blood flow can be a cause of pregnancy loss as well and can be fully investigated at an appropriate laboratory. These abnormalities are usually treated by medication that prevent the blood clots that ultimately impair the blood flow.
Genetic conditions can be a cause of many miscarriages and can be random in nature as occurs in most cases of Down’s syndrome. This random type of genetic abnormality is usually caused by a process called meiotic nondisjunction and is more common among females as they age.
A different genetic condition, called a balanced reciprocal translocation, is present from birth in one or both of the parents. Unfortunately, a pregnancy that results under these conditions may have an abnormal number of chromosomes as a result of this translocation. Genetic testing of the parents’ blood called a karyotype is recommended.
A luteal phase defect is a condition where the lining of the uterus is not suitably prepared for an embryo to attach properly. This is typically caused by poor hormone development such as insufficient progesterone and can be detected by a variety of methods. Treatment is typically simple hormone supplementation.
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) can lead to an increased risk of miscarriage and its etiology is uncertain. Making sure that underlying hormonal abnormalities that exist in patients with PCOS are appropriately treated is an important goal in treating this condition.
Unfortunately, in many cases, the cause of miscarriage is unknown. Fortunately, empirical supportive treatments over time will commonly lead to a successful delivery. A thorough discussion with testing and treatment strategies will be reviewed with you.
We provide services for the diagnosis and treatment of infertility.
Our services include an outstanding IVF and donor egg program.
We offer all levels of treatment including infertility testing intrauterine insemination (IUI), medical treatment, and advanced laparoscopic surgery. Most of our patients become pregnant without requiring IVF.
Monday-Thursday 8AM - 5PM
Friday 8AM - 1PM
Our patients can reach us for emergencies 24 hours a day by calling our main number, and selecting choice #1, which pages our medical or nursing staff.
If your situation is life threatening, dial 911 or go directly to your local ER.