The Pain Of Losing A Pregnancy
The loss of a child is perhaps one of the saddest experiences in life. The pain a couple experiences from pregnancy loss, whether through miscarriage or stillbirth, is devastating. Losing one pregnancy is difficult; however, when it happens a second or third time, the emotional trauma for the couple can be overwhelming. If multiple miscarriages plague a couple, it would be advisable for them to consult with a fertility specialist. There may be an underlying fertility issue responsible for the repeated miscarriages that can be corrected with proper treatment. A successful outcome may be possible.
Miscarriage Is Not Unusual
It is not unusual for a woman to experience one miscarriage. It is generally accepted that between 15 to 20 percent of all pregnancies end in miscarriage, most frequently occurring in the first trimester (first 12 weeks) of pregnancy. After the first miscarriage, the risk of miscarriage decreases with future pregnancies. However, if there is a second miscarriage, the risk increases with future pregnancies.
Often a woman conceives and miscarries without even knowing she is pregnant. Miscarriage in the first trimester is usually attributed to chromosomal abnormality and is not considered a danger to future pregnancies. However, chromosomal abnormality is not the only cause for miscarriage. There are several other considerations, especially when it comes to multiple miscarriages.
Hormonal Balance Is Key To Successful Pregnancy
In order for a pregnancy to be conceived and carried to term, the hormonal balance in the body must be normal and at healthy levels. When hormone levels are out of balance, the endometrium (uterine lining) may not be adequate to keep the implantation of the embryo and the pregnancy is not sustained. Problems with the thyroid gland or adrenal glands, as well as diabetes, may have a profound effect upon the hormonal balance of a woman's body and the risk of miscarriage is increased with these situations.
Uterine Problems And Infections Cause Miscarriage
Uterine factor problems are high on the list when it comes to fertility issues. A misshapen uterus, a divided uterus (when a septum splits the inside of the uterus in half), an extremely small uterus, or some type of genetic problem can be the cause of pregnancy loss. Even though uterine problems can make pregnancy very difficult, there are cases of healthy births despite uterine factor issues.
It is well known that STDs cause fertility problems. If left untreated, infections such as herpes, Chlamydia, and gonorrhea, can cause serious problems for the fetus and ultimately cause miscarriage. Factors such as exposure to toxic material in the workplace or at home, use of recreational drugs, alcohol and caffeine, have all been implicated in pregnancy loss.
Additional factors include antiphospholipid syndrome (APS), which causes blood clots to form and inhibit proper fetal development. There are also cases where the immune system of a woman recognizes the fetus as an invader and views it as a foreign entity. The body then turns against the fetus and rejects it, causing miscarriage.
After the age of 35, women tend to have a more difficult time holding a pregnancy. Exposure to diethylstilbestrol (DES) has been linked to repeated pregnancy loss. Fetal exposure to DES is associated with weak cervix, yet another cause of miscarriage.
It is wise to check with a specialist when there have been repeated miscarriages in order to determine the cause.