What Causes Recurrent Miscarriage? 

Miscarriages are more common than you may think. According to the statistics provided by the NHS, it was found that 1 in 8 pregnancies end up in a miscarriage. In fact, many times these miscarriages take place even before the mothers realise that they may be pregnant. So what are the reasons behind these miscarriages? Why do I get early miscarriages? Is there a way to prevent it? How to stay pregnant even after multiple miscarriages? Let’s find answers to these questions together.

Are multiple miscarriages common? 

While miscarriage is common, recurrent miscarriage (three miscarriages in a row or more) is not. About one in every 100 women may experience recurrent miscarriage. The chance of recurrent miscarriage increases with age, and primarily occurs in women over the age of 35. However, someone with a family history of miscarriage may also be at higher risk of recurrent miscarriage, according to studies. 

Why does miscarriage happen?: Causes

In order to help prevent recurrent miscarriage, it is important to understand the reasons behind why it happens in the first place. The most common causes of miscarriage are as follows:

  • Lifestyle

Our lifestyles play an important role during and prior to the pregnancy journey. Unhealthy eating habits, poor weight management, consumption of addictive substances, and poor sleep and wake cycles impact the pre-pregnancy body more than we may realise, according to studies, with these factors contributing to a higher risk of miscarriage.

  • Genetics

Genetics play an important role in pregnancy. If chromosomal abnormalities, inherited autoimmune diseases, or genetic mutations are present, it is likely that the pregnancy journey may be complicated and can pose a high risk of miscarriage.

  • Health conditions

Chronic diseases or past health conditions may result in a higher risk of miscarriage. Diseases like diabetes and maternal anaemia may result in damage to the placenta, which may lead to a failed pregnancy.

  • Age

The chances of pregnancy complications rise with age, and the risk of miscarriage increases, according to research.

  • Infections/UTIs

Infections and UTIs are no fun in general life, but during pregnancy, these conditions are harmful and can increase the risk of miscarriage if left untreated. For example, infections like gonorrhoea cause damage to the foetus and placenta, which may cause miscarriage. It is advised to maintain proper hygiene, practice safe sex and get tested for infections regularly.

  • Hormonal problems

A lot of pregnancy-related factors may be within our control, but not always our hormones. For instance, the progesterone hormone preps the uterus for conception, but factors such as high stress can cause a decrease in progesterone levels, threatening the success of the pregnancy. Similarly, prolactin, a hormone which helps to produce milk, is highest following pregnancy, but a study has found that high levels during pregnancy could be a cause of recurrent miscarriage.

  • Issues with immune system

The immune system is designed to keep us safe from disease-causing pathogens; however, if an autoimmune disorder is present during pregnancy, the body’s immune system may start attacking healthy cells, which can result in a miscarriage.

Can you prevent recurrent miscarriage?: Treatments

Some miscarriages are not preventable. However, there are things that you can do to reduce the risk of miscarriages that occur due to non-genetic causes. These include:

  • Genetic screening 

Getting past the complex sounding name, genetic screening can help to detect potential abnormalities. If you are someone who has a history of miscarriages or has genetic abnormalities in your family, genetic screening can help you make a decision about pregnancy moving forwards.

  • Surgical treatment for ovarian and uterine conditions

The risk of miscarriage can increase with the presence of fibroids, scar tissue, endometrial tissue and polyps. In many cases these abnormalities can be removed surgically, which can lower the chance of miscarriage. 

  • Lifestyle changes 

Our lifestyles have become significantly more stressful in recent decades, which can lead to unhealthy practices such as poor nourishment, improper sleep and deprioritising personal hygiene. Making simple lifestyle changes, such as consuming a balanced diet, practising proper sleep hygiene and reducing consumption of alcohol, can help reduce the risk of miscarriage by creating a healthy environment for a foetus to grow.

  • Reproductive immunology

In some cases, the mother’s immune system can mistakenly identify the foetus as a threat to her body, due to a difference in genetic composition between baby and mother. This may result in miscarriage as the body’s cells attack the embryonic cells. Reproductive immunology can help to diagnose this specific problem as it provides a better understanding of the relationship between the body’s immune system and reproductive system. 

Expand your family with the help of a fertility expert

Recurrent miscarriage is a terribly traumatic experience that can cause doubt about the possibility of starting a family, but you’re not alone. Thanks to advancements in the field of fertility, a special IVF clinic in London with experienced fertility experts can diagnose the root causes behind recurrent miscarriage, and tackle it with advanced treatments to help you begin your journey towards becoming a parent.

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