Perth fertility treatment | Dr Hunter - about recurrent miscarriages
Recurrent Miscarriage Treatment
Approximately 1 in 5 pregnancies are lost before viability and this is termed a miscarriage. In fact if you speak to any woman who has at least one child, most of them would have suffered a miscarriage at some time. It is often one of those devastating events that remains a secret. Concern is heightened when a woman suffers with recurrent miscarriage and it is reasonable to proceed with clinical evaluation following two consecutive losses in the first trimester.
There are a few options when it comes to recurrent miscarriage treatment. These include:
-Preimplantation Genetic Screening
What is it?
Causes of miscarriage
Recurrent miscarriage treatment options
The number 1 reason is abnormal chromosomes in the fetus (called ‘aneuploidy’) – responsible for some 50% of miscarriages. This becomes more likely the older a woman is. Parental chromosomes are also important to review – with a ‘balanced translocation’ in either the man or the woman being a cause of recurrent miscarriage. Preimplantation genetic screening through IVF can identify embryos with normal chromosomes and studies show significantly improved ongoing pregnancy rates in couples with balanced translocation.
Anatomical abnormalities such as uterine fibroids or a uterine septum can contribute and are surgically treatable – so three-dimensional pelvic ultrasound is valuable. Other things worth reviewing include clotting tendencies (thrombophilia screen) and endocrine causes (abnormal prolactin levels, thyroid dysfunction and diabetes). Although controversial, high DNA damage in sperm has also been implicated and can be investigated a part of semen analysis.
I believe that, as you start exploring fertility treatment, it is okay to be vulnerable. My role is to nurture part of your emotional processes, supporting you with clear communication about every step of the journey. Quite often, it includes listening to how you or your partner feel about these 'rollercoaster moments', from hope to insecurity, from disappointment to a next step. It is a deeply human experience, and my role is to be a partner on your journey, beyond my specialised medical experience. That is what I call a holistic approach to fertility treatment.
It is generally accepted that lifestyle factors contribute little to recurrent miscarriage. However epidemiological studies have linked certain lifestyle factors to miscarriage. Overweight and obesity, excessive daily caffeine consumption (e.g. 3 cups of coffee per day) and psychological stress have all been associated with higher miscarriage rates.
Although investigations often yield ‘no abnormalities’, causes identified can often be treated with great success. That's why it is very reasonable for any couple with recurrent miscarriage to seek assistance and advice after 2 or more consecutive miscarriages.
Read More about recurrent miscarriages and what other factors there are to consider.
Genetic Diseases and Family Planning
Learn more about how genetic diseases can effect your family planning.
Early Pregnancy Problems
Learn more about what potential early pregnancy problems you might encounter.