When you are trying to get pregnant, the diagnoses of miscarriage are more common than you may think. It represents a damaging blow for the couple but you need to know that it is something that occurs to many women who are trying to have a baby. Between 12% and 15% of pregnancies diagnosed end up being miscarriage.
By “miscarriage” we mean the spontaneous expulsion of the foetus before the 20th week of pregnancy. If it happens after this period it is called premature birth. When more than three miscarriages are produced, it is referred to “recurrent miscarriage” and it has to be carefully screened by a specialist.
What are the main causes of recurrent miscarriage?
Dr. Isabel Santillán, the medical doctor at Eva Clinics, clarifies that the main cause of miscarriage seems to be the embryo chromosomal disorder but there are also other possible reasons related to the following aspects:
- Genetics: most of miscarriages are produced for ovarian and sperm chromosomal disorders or depend on the embryo.
- Uterine: The woman has uterine disorders such as fibroids, polyps, etc which make the normal development of pregnancy impossible. About 1% of women are affected by anatomic malformations.
- Immunological: The embryo has paternal antigens so the body of the mother could reject it as it was a transplant. A perfect immunological balance has to be established for the embryo development. However, if this doesn’t occur because the mother has some immunological disorders, the number of miscarriages increases significantly. The most common immunological factor for recurrent miscarriage is Antiphospholipid syndrome.
- Infections: The infections can be linked both to isolated pregnancy loss (listeria, toxoplasmosis, herpes, etc) and recurrent miscarriage (Brucella, Syphilis and malaria).
- Endocrine causes: The risk of miscarriage or fetal malformation increases in diabetic patients with high glycosylated haemoglobin levels or patients with uncontrolled hypothyroidism, especially if it is autoimmune type.
- Environmental causes: An excessive intake of coffee and tobacco, obesity, the exposure to insecticides and other toxic substances can deteriorate the quality of eggs by causing chromosomally altered embryos.
The assisted reproduction as a solution to recurrent miscarriage
The assisted reproduction treatments represent a good alternative for couples who received a diagnosis of recurrent miscarriage. The techniques which are used to face these kind of cases are the following:
– Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis: This technique requires a previous IVF treatment to retrieve the eggs and obtain the embryo after fertilizing them in the laboratory; this allows selecting the embryos without chromosomal alterations and avoiding the miscarriage for chromosomal causes.
– The Artificial Insemination treatments or In Vitro Fertilization with donation of gametes are recommended options when the Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis technique shows there is no healthy embryo to be transferred.