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Evaluating and Treating Recurrent Pregnancy Loss

Evaluating and treating recurrent pregnancy loss

When the joy of a new pregnancy is followed by the heartbreak of miscarriage, it can be emotionally devastating. When it happens repeatedly, it is a medical condition that needs evaluation and treatment. Called recurrent pregnancy loss or repeat miscarriage, the loss of two or more consecutive pregnancies can have many causes, so it’s important to seek out the expertise of an experienced reproductive endocrinologist to get help. Our comprehensive fertility care in San Antonio includes extensive capabilities to diagnose and treat this challenging condition.

What can cause recurrent pregnancy loss?

The loss of multiple pregnancies often has an identifiable cause that may happen by chance, or may be related to issues with either the male or female partner.

  • Chromosome problems in embryos, such as having too few or too many chromosomes due to a random genetic error
  • Chromosome translocations in one partner’s DNA, in which a piece of one chromosome is transferred onto another chromosome in sperm or eggs
  • Uterine abnormalities, such as birth defects of the uterus, adhesions, scarring, fibroids or polyps
  • Autoimmune disorders that can affect blood clotting
  • Diabetes or thyroid disease
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
  • Other miscarriage risk factors, such as infections, smoking, or alcohol or drug use

How is the cause of repeat miscarriage diagnosed?

Fewer than five out of every 100 women will lose two consecutive pregnancies, but if you’re one of them, it’s important to know that compassionate help is available. The first step is finding out the exact cause of recurrent pregnancy loss, so that you can get the treatment you need.

Fertility testing can often identify the reason for repeat miscarriage, and may include several different approaches.

  • Physical and pelvic exam
  • Bloodwork to measure hormone levels
  • Genetic testing for both partners to find any potential genetic conditions or chromosome problems that could be passed on to eggs, sperm or embryos
  • Imaging studies of the female reproductive organs to ensure that the uterus is a normal shape and has a sufficient lining for embryos to implant and grow

In some cases, even extensive testing doesn’t identify a cause of recurrent pregnancy loss. The good news is that even without fertility treatment, about 65 in 100 women go on to have a normal pregnancy after repeat miscarriage. However, if a cause is identified, fertility treatments can often help.

What kind of treatments are available?

The type of fertility treatment you may need is targeted to the cause of your condition. If an underlying medical condition is found, such as diabetes, an autoimmune disorder, thyroid problems or PCOS, treating those conditions can usually help.

Birth defects of the uterus, such as a divided or septate uterus, can often be surgically corrected, and hormone supplementation can help support a developing pregnancy if needed. If genetic or chromosome problems are identified in the hopeful parents, IVF with preimplantation genetic testing (PGT) can identify which embryos are free of those problems, so only those can be transferred. Many parents have also gone on to have healthy children after using IVF with donor eggs, donor sperm or gestational surrogacy.

Find help and hope with fertility care in San Antonio

The first step after recurrent pregnancy loss is reaching out to our team to begin fertility testing. Our experienced reproductive endocrinologists and supportive team will guide you through every step with compassion and care. Contact us to take the first steps toward getting fertility care in San Antonio to address repeat miscarriage.