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Why Did I Miscarry?

Dr Amin Gorgy

Why did I miscarry? If you have experienced a miscarriage, you may be demanding an answer. Miscarriages are more common than people think, with around a fifth of pregnancies ending this way. In this article we look at some of the most common causes of miscarriage, with the help of Dr A. Gorgy, Fertility Consultant and Co-Director at The Fertility & Gynaecology Academy.

Causes Of Miscarriage: Chromosomal Abnormality

Chromosomes hold information for genes such as hair colour or the body’s susceptibility to disease. Chromosomal abnormalities are the most common cause of miscarriage. If a fetus develops with too many chromosomes, or not enough, it may not develop properly and the pregnancy may terminate.

We don’t know why this happens, or how to prevent it, but it is more common in older mothers. Half of all pregnancies in women over the age of 40 end in miscarriage.

Dr Gorgy says, “Chromosomal abnormalities can happen through one of two routes. Firstly, translocation can be carried down from one of the parents, or, abnormal chromosomes can happen during the early division of the embryo.”

Chromosomal abnormalities will usually result in miscarriage within the first trimester.

Causes of Miscarriage: Problems With The Womb

Miscarriage can also occur due to abnormalities which affect the structure of the womb.

  1. Uterine Septum: At the beginning of a pregnancy, tissue develops inside the uterus, dividing it in two. Six weeks into this pregnancy, the tissue should be re-absorbed to form the correct triangle-like structure for a fetus to grow. However, in some women the dividing tissue remains, potentially causing miscarriage.
  2. Polyps: These soft growths are not uncommon and are usually benign. However, they can cause complications for pregnancy as they can disrupt the lining of the uterus.
  3. Scarring In The Uterus: If a previous operation on the uterus has taken place, for example to treat polyps, scar tissue may form, reducing blood flow to the uterus, ending in miscarriage.

Why Did I Miscarry?

We can help you find a Private Fertility Clinic / Hospital, or a Private Fertility Consultant who specialises in reproductive immunology treatment.

Causes of Miscarriage: Infection

Certain infections can increase your risk of miscarriage, including STIs and common vaginal infections such bacterial vaginosis. Food poisoning, such as listeria and salmonella, is also tied to risks of miscarriage.

Other less common infections which can increase the risk of miscarriage include toxoplasmosis, parvovirus, rubella and malaria.

Causes of Miscarriage: Immune System

Reproductive immunology is the theory that the body’s immune system can reject a fetus. Natural killer cells (NK cells), which play a role in fighting off cancers, can overpopulate the uterus or bloodstream. This then leads to the NK cells attacking the embryo, or disrupting the endocrine system which produces pregnancy hormones.

Dr Gorgy says, “If the immune system is not well-balanced in order to accommodate the pregnancy, it can cause the body to reject the pregnancy, which we know is at least half foreign to the mother’s body.”

Identifying The Cause Of A Miscarriage

If you want to identify the cause of a miscarriage, it’s important to get relevant testing so that you can work towards reducing the chance of miscarriage happening again. The main types of testing when it comes to miscarriage are:

  1. 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.
  2. Infection screening – Infections like chlamydia, ureaplasma and others can recur and hinder your body’s ability to carry a baby.
  3. Assessment of uterine cavity – A test using saline hysterography to find out if there are any hidden abnormalities in the womb.
  4. Karyotyping – Testing to pinpoint any underlying genetic problems in either partner.
  5. Sperm DNA fragmentation & sperm aneuploidy – To assess the sperm’s genetic material.

If you have had a miscarriage and are seeking advice, call The Fertility & Gynaecology Academy on 020 7224 1880.

We would like to thank the team at The Fertility & Gynaecology Academy for providing their specialist knowledge for this article.

The Fertility & Gynaecology Academy

The Fertility & Gynaecology Academy
57A Wimpole Street
London W1G 8YP
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7224 1880
Email: info@fertility-academy.co.uk
Web: www.fertility-academy.co.uk

 

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