Recurrent pregnancy loss refers to the situation when three consecutive pregnancy loss takes place. A pregnancy loss is a clinically defined pregnancy which ends before twenty weeks.
Causes of recurrent pregnancy loss
- Major cases of pregnancy loss occur due to genetic abnormalities and chromosomal abnormalities. The abnormality may occur from the sperm, egg or the early developed embryo.
- Recurrent pregnancy loss may occur in a woman due to ascending maternal age. This happens because of poor quality of the egg, which further leads to chromosomal abnormalities. In some cases, the pregnant mother or the father can have some gene irregularities. In such cases, the would-be-born infant is affected, and this causes pregnancy loss or miscarriage.
- Uterus abnormalities also lead to recurrent pregnancy loss. This may happen because of poor supply of blood to the uterus. Abnormalities in the uterus are in-born in some women and in others these may develop over time.
- Women having a poor immune system are likely to suffer pregnancy loss. Abnormalities in hormone secretion like thyroid or diabetes may also cause pregnancy loss in women.
- If a woman suffers from abnormalities in blood clotting, the chances of miscarriage are enhanced.
Testing for recurrent pregnancy loss
Several tests and examinations should be carried out for detection of pregnancy loss.
- Karyotype analysis of the woman and her male partner has to be conducted. Karyotype refers to the genetic or chromosomal constituents of an individual and this test is carried out to detect abnormalities in genes and chromosomes of the parents, which cause miscarriage when passed on to the developing infant.
- Another test includes the evaluation of the uterus and the uterine cavity. This is done by ultrasound, saline ultrasound, MRI, hysterosalpingogram X –ray or by hysteroscopy. These tests help to get information on the uterus shape, about fibroid presence, detect abnormalities within the uterus and observe the opening and closing of the tubes. Tests to detect the functioning of hormones are also carried out.
The treatment for women with recurrent pregnancy loss depends upon the underlying causes of the pregnancy loss.
- In case of patients with karyotypic abnormalities, genetic counselling is recommended, where a specialist is consulted to know about chromosomal abnormalities.
- Prenatal genetic studies are carried out by some couples to know about the offspring’s genetic make-up. This is done with chorionic villus sampling or with amniocentesis. A process known as in vitro fertilization can be carried out.
- In case of uterine abnormalities, a surgery may be performed and medications for reducing blood clot are used if anti-phospho-lipid antibody syndrome is detected.
Recurrent pregnancy loss may happen due to various reasons and proper tests, and treatment procedures should be carried out for curing pregnancy loss. This phenomenon affects a woman and her partner deeply.