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Miscarriage: We Need To Stop Talking About “Bad Luck”

Miscarriage: We Need To Stop Talking About “Bad Luck”

Miscarriage can be one of the biggest heartbreaks a woman suffers in her lifetime. To experience the joy of discovering you are pregnant, only to have your dreams dashed can be absolutely devastating. For the many couples who are then simply told it is “bad luck”, the experience can be even more frustrating.

Yes, sometimes there are no essential causes to be found. While it can be a relief to hear that there is nothing “wrong”, having no answers can compound your frustration. Without offering false hope, this Baby Loss Awareness Week we want couples to know that in many cases there is a reason for miscarriage and it can help to dig deeper.

What Causes Miscarriage?

  • Miscarriage can happen for many reasons, the most common being chromosomal abnormality. Other causes include:
  • Immune factors
  • A weak cervix
  • Blood clotting abnormalities
  • Infection
  • Thyroid problems and diabetes
  • Polycystic ovaries
  • Sperm issues

Recurrent Miscarriage

When a woman has suffered three or more miscarriages in succession, this is known as “recurrent miscarriage”. It affects around 1 in 100 of UK women1, and it is extremely distressing. The levels of anxiety in women who suffer miscarriage can hit comparable levels to those observed in psychiatric outpatients.

LEADING FERTILITY CLINICS

If you are interested in speaking to a private fertility consultant, please see our list of leading fertility clinics both within the UK and internationally. These carefully selected clinics can provide you with any and all information you may need in beginning your journey towards parenthood.

What Can Be Done?

The first step is testing. After a consultation and a look at your medical history, both partners can undergo testing to get to the root of the miscarriage problem. These tests fall into five areas:

  • Immune Testing to determine if you have elevated levels of ‘natural killer cells’ (that help protect against cancer) which could be affecting your ability to carry a baby to term
  • Infection Screening – Infections like chlamydia, ureaplasma and others can recur and hinder your body’s ability to carry a baby
  • Uterine Cavity Assessment – A test using saline hysterography to find out if there are any hidden abnormalities in the womb
  • Karyotyping – Testing to pinpoint any underlying genetic problems in either partner.
  • Sperm DNA fragmentation and sperm aneuploidy – To assess the sperm’s genetic material

Once the issue is determined, your doctor can then recommend treatment. This could range from progesterone hormone supplementation to transfusion of healthy white blood cells for example – it all depends on your test results.

Many couples have undergone testing and treatment after trying unsuccessfully, and find with the right help they are able to carry a baby to term.

REFERENCES

[1] https://www.tommys.org/our-organisation/charity-research/pregnancy-statistics/miscarriage

 

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