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Miscarriage is far more common than you might think. Between a third and half of pregnancies end before a woman even misses a period or knows she is pregnant.
Another 10-20% of miscarriages occur after a woman knows she is expecting.
However, most miscarriages are singular events, and the woman goes on to have a healthy, successful pregnancy.
Recurrent miscarriages are far less common — only around 1% of women experience these repeated devastating events.
When women have two or more consecutive miscarriages, they’re diagnosed as recurrent.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends scheduling an appointment with your trusted OB/GYN for an exam and diagnostic testing if you have three or more miscarriages.
Two or more miscarriages in a row are not typical. While a single pregnancy loss is common, only around 1% of women experience recurring losses.
Many factors contribute to recurrent miscarriages. However, chromosomal abnormalities are the most common cause of miscarriage.
These genetic issues typically happen by chance, with no underlying medical cause.
Other common causes of recurring miscarriages include:
Your risk of pregnancy complications and recurrent pregnancy losses increases with age.
Additionally, while multiple consecutive miscarriages aren’t common, your chance of pregnancy loss increases with each miscarriage.
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Your doctor begins by reviewing your medical history and performing a physical, including a pelvic exam and Pap smear.
Next, they order blood tests and urinalysis to check for infections, hormonal imbalances, and other diseases that could interfere with pregnancy.
Your doctor may also order ultrasounds or other imaging tests to look for uterine abnormalities.
Your partner will also need to undergo assessments to evaluate his sperm and check for other issues that could contribute to your pregnancy losses.
Clinically, infertility and recurrent miscarriage are different. Infertility is when you’re unable to become pregnant after a year of trying. If you can get pregnant but experience consecutive pregnancy losses, you have recurrent miscarriages.
However, as most miscarriages occur before a woman knows she’s pregnant, the experiences can be very similar.
In both cases, you should make an appointment with your trusted OB/GYN at Maiden Lane Medical for a physical exam and testing to identify the root cause of your fertility issues.
Ideally, you should talk to your doctor before you try to become pregnant. They can help you optimize your health for pregnancy.
However, if this isn’t feasible for you, you should make an appointment to talk to your doctor if you experience two or more consecutive pregnancy losses.
The physicians at Maiden Lane Medical can treat underlying causes of pregnancy loss, such as uterine fibroids, endometriosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome, and hormonal health issues.
However, if the root cause of your recurrent miscarriages can’t be identified, the team can offer specialized high-risk pregnancy care.
Depending on your specific needs, this could include frequent prenatal appointments, additional ultrasound tests and blood work, and additional genetic screening.
They can help you take care of yourself and your baby to increase your chances of a successful pregnancy.
Some of the conditions that cause pregnancy loss are out of your control. However, you can reduce your risk with healthy choices. For example, you should not smoke, consume alcohol, or use illicit drugs.
If you take prescription medication, talk to your doctor about whether that medication is safe to take while pregnant.
Make a preconception appointment with your OB/GYN to discuss your health and get personalized advice and support to prepare your body for pregnancy.
Gillian Scott Hans, NP, CNM
Obstetrics and Gynecology Nurse Practitioner
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