Recurrent pregnancy loss is defined by the loss of two or more clinical pregnancies. A clinical pregnancy is documented by ultrasound or pathologic diagnosis, contrary to sporadic losses, which occur before 10 weeks. Of all pregnancies, 15-20% end in miscarriage, 75% being in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Multiple miscarriage occurs in 15-20% of pregnancies. If you experience two losses or more, talk to a doctor or infertility specialist as soon as possible.
Some common causes that can lead to multiple miscarriage are as follows:
Genetic problems resulting in an abnormality of the developing fetus can be a major cause of miscarriage. Either partner, possibly both, may be genetically predisposed to passing on an abnormality to the fetus. 50-60% of miscarriages in the first three months of pregnancy are a result of chromosomal abnormalities.
The use of marijuana, tobacco, caffeine, and alcohol can affect fetal development and result in miscarriage. The environmental toxins that you breathe in through the air around you can result in fetal damage or miscarriage as well, especially if you are exposed regularly after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
Structural problems can interfere with the implantation of the fertilized egg, resulting in miscarriage. Uterine fibroids, non-cancerous growths in the uterine wall, can cause infertility if they block the opening of the Fallopian tubes or if their position affects the normal functioning of the uterine lining. A septum, which is a fibrous wall dividing the uterine cavity, can cause poor implantation and pregnancy loss.
Abnormal Hormone Levels
When the uterine lining does not develop sufficiently, the fertilized egg risks not having a fit environment for implantation and nourishment, which can result in miscarriage. Women with adrenal gland and thyroid problems as well as diabetes are typically at higher risk for miscarriage due to hormonal imbalances. An elevated prolactin level can also disrupt normal uterine lining development.
Having an incompetent cervix, in which the cervical muscle is weakened and cannot remain closed while the fetus grows, puts pressure on the cervical opening and can result in miscarriage.
Antiphospholipid antibodies are a category of immunologic problems that can cause miscarriages. Another category of causes are those that prevent the woman’s normal protective response to the embryo.
Infections like rubella, herpes simplex, ureaplasma, cytomegalovirus, and chlamydia can affect fetal development and may result in miscarriage.
The North Carolina Center for Reproductive Medicine/Talbert Fertility Institute is the premiere center for reproductive health in North Carolina and the East Coast. Our team specializes in fertility testing, diagnosis, and treatment of infertility conditions. We’re experts in IVF, Tubal Ligation Reversal, Male Infertility, Intrauterine Insemination (IUI), Gestation Surrogacy, Family Balancing, and more. Contact us today.