Building a Family After Recurrent Pregnancy Loss
Miscarriages are often physically and emotionally painful experiences for women and their partners. For couples who have been trying desperately to have a baby, the emotional high of a positive pregnancy test followed by the low of a miscarriage can be devastating. But while miscarriages are surprisingly common, multiple miscarriages can be a sign that it may be time to speak to a fertility specialist about why you are able to achieve a pregnancy, but not carry it to term. In honor of Pregnancy Loss Awareness month, the fertility experts of IVF FLORIDA go over the facts about recurrent pregnancy loss and the options available to patients experiencing it.
What is Recurrent Pregnancy Loss?
Few people talk about it, but miscarriages are more common than you would think – more than a quarter of all pregnancies will end in miscarriage. For many women who experience a miscarriage, they will not even realize they were pregnant. But one to two percent of women who experience a miscarriage will experience recurrent pregnancy loss – when a woman experiences two or more clinically confirmed pregnancies and subsequent miscarriage.
There are a variety of reasons some women experience recurrent pregnancy loss. For some, genetic abnormalities in the eggs or sperm cause a genetically abnormal embryo. In many of these cases, the woman will miscarry as the pregnancy is not viable. The genetic abnormalities may be due to abnormalities in either parent, or due to decreased egg quality due to advanced maternal age. Other causes include issues with the uterus or uterine cavity, including the presence of fibroids, polyps, or abnormal shape.
What Options Are Available to Women Who Suffer From Recurrent Pregnancy Loss?
While experiencing recurrent pregnancy loss can be devastating for couples, there is hope for those who want to build a family. For these couples, the first step would be to meet with a qualified fertility specialist. During the appointment, both partners would provide a full picture of their family history and undergo some tests to identify any possible issues. Some tests include:
- An Ultrasound
- A Hysterosalpingogram (HSG)
- A Saline Infused Sonogram
- Genetic Testing
- Hormone Testing
These tests will help your IVF FLORIDA fertility doctor determine if your uterus is the correct shape, if there are fibroids or polyps interfering with a healthy pregnancy, or if there is a genetic or hormonal issue that is causing you to miscarry.
For women who have fibroids or polyps, and for some uterine defects, surgery can help correct the issue and enable you to carry a pregnancy to term. For those with hormonal issues, medication may be prescribed to get their hormones into an acceptable level.
For couples where the issue is likely a genetic one, patients can choose to undergo IVF with pre-implantation genetic testing to identify which embryos are genetically normal and implant only a normal embryo in order to produce a healthy pregnancy.
What If There Is No Way For Me To Carry A Pregnancy To Term?
For women who are unable to carry a pregnancy to term even after considering all other treatment options, if may be necessary to consider alternative family building options. Options such as surrogacy, sperm donation, or egg donation can help most couples build the families of their dreams.
To learn more about the options available to couples struggling with recurrent pregnancy loss who would like to build or grow their family, contact IVF FLORIDA’s team of specialists at 954-247-6200 to schedule a consultation with one of our fertility experts.