Experiencing recurrent miscarriages or stillbirth can really take a toll on a couple who wants to have a baby, especially if it happens two or three times in a row. Most women want to know why it has happened and whether they could have done anything to prevent it from happening. Luckily there are a number of tests that can be performed by your NCCRM infertility doctor Cary. Though there aren’t always answers, about half the time the tests will reveal a reason why the miscarriages might be happening – and a treatment that might boost the odds of a successful subsequent pregnancy in the future. Here is a list of the most common tests that doctors use for women with recurrent miscarriages:
Testing For Problems With The Uterus:
- Hysterosalpingogram (HSG) – During this imaging test, a dye is injected into the uterus and an X-ray is taken; it looks primarily at whether the fallopian tubes are open, as well as for an abnormal shape of the uterus that might cause problems in pregnancy.
- Hysteroscopy – A hysteroscopy involves inserting a thin telescope into the uterus to get the most accurate picture. A doctor may be able to repair minor problems during the test.
- Transvaginal Ultrasound – Doctors can also use ultrasounds to check for uterine, ovarian, and endometrial problems that could be contributing to recurrent miscarriages.
- Endometrial Biopsy – Rarely, doctors remove a small piece of the endometrium (the lining of the uterus) to help diagnose conditions that may be interfering with conception or pregnancy.
- Lupus Anticoagulant Antibodies – Lupus anticoagulant antibodies are one of the markers for antiphospholipid syndrome, which seems to increase some women’s chances of recurrent miscarriage or stillbirth.
- Anticardiolipin Antibodies – Anticardiolipin antibodies are another marker for antiphospholipid syndrome.
- PT and aPTT – PT stands for Prothrombin Time, and it is a test to see how fast the blood clots. aPTT stands for Activated Partial Thromboplastin Time, and it is another blood clotting test. Abnormal results on either might be associated with hereditary thrombophilias (blood clotting disorders like antiphospholipid syndrome).
- MTHFR Gene Mutation – Mutations in the MTHFR gene can impair the body’s ability to absorb folic acid. A few studies have associated MTHFR gene mutations with an increased risk of miscarriages, but most have found the gene not to be a major factor in causing miscarriages.
- Protein C, Factor V Leiden, Protein S deficiency, Prothrombin gene mutation and Antithrombin III deficiency – These are the hereditary thrombophilias that seem to be linked to miscarriages after 10 weeks.
- Thyroid Panel – Some evidence suggests that hypothyroidism may increase the risk of second-trimester miscarriage, but the evidence is not conclusive.
- Progesterone – The link between progesterone and miscarriages is a matter of hot debate. When your NCCRM infertility doctor Cary tests progesterone, the test usually involves a blood draw a week after ovulation, or on day 21 of a 28-day cycle. Especially in women over 35, doctors may also test for levels of other hormones, such as follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH), and luteinizing hormone (LH). These hormones are all related to ovulation.
- Karyotyping of the parents – This test would be performed on both parents and looks for problems in the genetic structure that might boost pregnancy loss risks, such as balanced translocation.
One out of every six couples in the United States face the challenge of infertility. At NCCRM, we try to minimize that stress by being sensitive to the fact that infertility can cause a couple marital, sexual, religious and financial anxieties. If you or a loved one are having recurrent miscarriages, contact your NCCRM infertility doctor Cary right away to discuss the tests we can perform to potentially find a solution to the issues you are facing. We look forward to helping you!