What is Recurrent Miscarriage?

A miscarriage is the spontaneous loss of a pregnancy before the 20th week. Anywhere between 10 and 20% of known pregnancies end in miscarriage, meaning this is unfortunately a relatively common experience—though this does not make it easier. The name might imply that something went ‘wrong’ during the carrying of your pregnancy, but this is rarely true. Most miscarriages occur because the foetus hasn’t developed as expected, and this is not your fault.

Miscarriage is typically a one-time occurrence, and most women who miscarry go on to have healthy pregnancies in the future. Less than 5% of women will have two consecutive miscarriages, and only 1% of women will have three or more—this 1% represents what health professionals call recurrent miscarriage. Take a step towards emotional healing by understanding the potential causes behind miscarriage, and what medical options are available to you.


What Causes Recurrent Miscarriage?

Miscarriage itself is generally understood, though the potential causes behind one can be rather varied. About fifty percent of miscarriages are associated with chromosomal problems, with extra or missing chromosomes causing errors by chance as the embryo grows. This rarely has to do with genetic inheritance from the parents. In some cases, miscarriage might be caused by uncontrolled diabetes, hormonal problems, thyroid disease or uterine abnormalities.

Certain factors can increase the risk of miscarriage, including chronic health conditions, the use of drugs and alcohol during pregnancy, and your age. If you are older than 35, or have a history of uterine and cervical problems, your risk of miscarriage is generally considerably higher.

The causes of recurrent miscarriage are more elusive, as something that causes one miscarriage does not necessarily mean it will a second or third time. It is not always possible for doctors to discover why this is happening, but some suggested causes are outlined below:


How Can You Cope with Recurrent Miscarriage?

Miscarriage is an upsetting and emotional thing to go through, especially if you aren’t sure why it is happening to you. Following recurrent miscarriages, healthcare professionals will continue to try and identify root causes, and you may be referred to a specialist unit dedicated to managing the issue. You might be offered progesterone hormone treatment—recent research in the United Kingdom has suggested that women with three or more previous miscarriages, given progesterone pessaries twice daily, experienced a 15% increase in their live birth rate when compared to those untreated.

Often, however, the most important thing to treat following recurrent miscarriage will be your own emotions. You may feel grief, shock, anger or anxiety that this keeps happening to you. But you should know that you are not alone. Talk about your feelings with your partner, your healthcare professional, or other women who have experienced similar situations. There are always avenues for advice and emotional support. If you or your partner are struggling to cope, contact your doctor. They will be able to direct you towards support, or refer you to other specialists.


If you are experiencing Recurrent Miscarriages, make an appointment with Dr.Nicole Stamatopoulos here.