Recurrent miscarriages

What are recurrent miscarriages? Causes, consequences, treatment and prevention

Published: 17 November 2023|Last updated: 17 November 2023|Techniques and treatments.|

Recurrent miscarriage is the repeated loss of a pregnancy in its early stage, that is, before the 20th week of gestation. Recurrent miscarriages are said to occur when a woman has experienced three or more miscarriages in a row.

These losses very often lead to physical and emotional exhaustion and it is important to know the causes, consequences and possible solutions in order to prevent them.

Causes of recurrent miscarriages

It is important to note that not all recurrent miscarriages are due to medical problems. Often, they are occasional complications that are not due to a health problem of the mother or foetus.

There are several reasons among the causes of recurrent miscarriages:

  • Genetic alterations: Mutations in the genes of either parent or alterations in the foetus’ chromosomes can cause recurrent miscarriages.
  • Abnormalities in the uterus: malformations of the uterus (such as a uterus with a septum/tabycus within it) can hinder the development of a foetus and lead to recurrent miscarriages.
  • Hormonal problems: disturbances in a woman’s hormonal equilibrium (as in polycystic ovary syndrome) can interfere with pregnancy and cause recurrent miscarriages.
  • Immunological problems: sometimes the mother’s body treats the foetus as a foreign body and her defences attack it, leading to recurrent miscarriages.
  • Infections or chronic diseases: some infections, such as rubella, or chronic diseases, such as diabetes, can increase the risk of recurrent miscarriages.
  • Environmental and lifestyle factors: various toxic substances such as alcohol, tobacco and drugs increase the risk of miscarriage.
  • Maternal age: women over 35 suffer more miscarriages than younger women due to both oocyte ageing as well as other factors associated with age.

Consequences of recurrent miscarriage

Recurrent miscarriages have an intense emotional impact on the couple, often accompanied by distress, anxiety and depression, but can also have medical consequences for the mother, such as infections or heavy bleeding. Similarly, recurrent miscarriages can lead to long-term fertility problems.

Treatments for recurrent miscarriages

They generally depend on what the cause behind the recurrent miscarriages is. Surgeries in the case of uterine abnormalities, hormonal treatment if the cause is polycystic ovary syndrome, immunological therapy if the problem is an adverse reaction to the foetus, genetic counselling if the cause is genetic abnormalities. In this case, options such as in vitro fertilisation in order to select embryos without the abnormality may be considered.

On the other hand, having emotional support to help cope with the anxiety that comes with the possibility of miscarriage in every pregnancy is also recommended.

Risks of recurrent miscarriages for mother and baby

As mentioned above, while recurrent miscarriages can have consequences for the mother, be they medical or emotional, they can also have consequences for the foetus. Recurrent losses may be due to chromosomal alterations that result in a non-viable embryo. In these cases, the mother’s body terminates the pregnancy to prevent a foetus with genetic problems from carrying to term.

Prevention in recurrent miscarriages

In some cases, they can be prevented by taking folic acid and other pregnancy vitamins, although the key is always to lead as healthy a life and diet as possible and to ensure that you maintain a healthy weight.

In any case, to avoid risks for both the mother and the foetus, it is crucial to carry out a complete medical examination of the couple. This includes genetic testing, hormonal and immunological tests, and imaging tests. Each case is unique and couples should seek professional health care and emotional support.

In addition, follow-up by a qualified health worker in the early stages of pregnancy can help to identify unseen problems and address them.

At Eugin, we have a team of specialists in assisted reproduction, so if you are trying to have a baby and you need help, you can ask for a first free appointment at our assisted reproduction clinics, where we will support you through the entire process.

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