Pregnancy loss can take an enormous emotional toll on individuals and couples attempting to build a family.
At Boston IVF, our goal is to help you to understand there is a biological reason behind a miscarriage - and that most women go on to successfully conceive via the help of our innovative technologies.
Each of our physicians are Board Certified in both Obstetrics/Gynecology and Reproductive Endocrinology/infertility, which means they are highly trained in all aspects of pregnancy, including first trimester pregnancy complications.
It may be surprising to hear, but miscarriage is a common event. Research shows that between one quarter and one half of all conceptions may end up in miscarriage. Much of the time, these events occur so early in the conception process that a woman may not even know she was pregnant because she may not have missed a period. These early losses can sometimes be documented with blood work (called chemical pregnancies) but have no other clinical evidence of pregnancy.
On a positive note, one miscarriage (or even two) does not mean that the couple will never be able to have a baby. Pregnancy after miscarriage is normal and there are so many reasons to keep hope in your heart. We can help.
A miscarriage is defined as the spontaneous loss of a pregnancy before the 20th week of gestation. Recurrent pregnancy loss, or recurrent miscarriage, is when miscarriage occurs more than once, consecutively.
Signs and symptoms of miscarriage include vaginal bleeding accompanied by back pain, abdominal pain, fever, severe cramps, or passing blood clots of gray tissue.
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A variety of issues can lead to miscarriage.
In the majority of cases, the pregnancy stops developing because of a genetic issue within the embryo itself. An imbalance in the number of chromosomes within the embryo (also known as aneuploidy) will often result in miscarriage.
Chromosomal abnormalities on the part of the mother, the father, or both, lead to miscarriage for at least 50-60% of all first trimester losses, making it the most common cause of early pregnancy loss. Aneuploidy, the presence of too many or too few chromosomes, is the most common type of genetic abnormality.
Because older women carry a higher risk of health conditions that can affect pregnancy, and are more likely to have eggs with chromosomal irregularities, age is a common reason for miscarriage.
The most common anatomical abnormality is a malformed uterus — specifically a septate uterus. Fibroids or polyps in the uterus are also associated with miscarriage, but they may be surgically removed.
Placental insufficiency and miscarriage can result from abnormal blood clotting. Common causes of abnormal blood clotting are antiphospholipid antibody syndrome (APAS) or lupus anticoagulant.
Chances of miscarriage increase when hormones are out of balance, specifically those associated with thyroid disease and pituitary problems.
Treatment for miscarriage depends entirely on the results of our initial fertility evaluations.
Examples of these tests and treatments include:
The most common reason for pregnancy loss is aneuploidy, a genetic issue which leads to an incorrect number of chromosomes within an embryo.
Because many miscarriages are due to these chromosomal abnormalities, one mode of treatment involves preimplantation genetic screening (PGS). This test allows for genetic analysis of embryos prior to implantation via IVF. Genetic testing increases the odds of a healthy pregnancy and childbirth and dramatically reduces the chance for miscarriage by allowing embryologists to implant only healthy, chromosomally normal embryos.
A simple blood test reveals information about a number of hormones that affect pregnancy, including progesterone and thyroid hormones.
An ultrasound uses sound waves to create images of organs and other structures in the body, enabling doctors to detect fibroids or polyps and uterine growths that can cause infertility and miscarriage.
It is completely natural to experience grief after a miscarriage. In order to provide support and comfort to our patients who have experienced miscarriage, the Domar Center at Boston IVF is here to help you heal during this difficult time. Our specialists can refer you to a psychologist or social worker, who can help you to heal emotionally.
The Domar Center offers a free 30 minute session with a psychologist after a failed treatment cycle to provide support as you grieve and to teach you coping skills to use during the next attempt.
We look forward to speaking with you, and will be in touch as soon as possible!