What causes pregnancy loss?
Often, women experience loss of pregnancy without knowing what caused the miscarriage. Many times, this occurs because the fetus is not developing normally. Miscarriage occurs when a woman spontaneously loses a pregnancy before the 20th week. In about half of all cases, chromosomal abnormalities in the fetus are responsible for the miscarriage.
Will I have another miscarriage?
Many women who have lost a baby will go on to have another healthy pregnancy. The estimated risk of a second miscarriage is about 20%. However, the risk of pregnancy loss for any woman is between 10-20%, so losing a pregnancy does not mean that a woman’s fertility goes down.
What about multiple losses?
After two miscarriages, the risk of losing another baby does increase to about 28%. After three times, risk increases to 43%. At this point, women should consult a healthcare provider to find out if fertility treatment is the best step. Determining the underlying reasons for pregnancy loss is critical to having a healthy pregnancy in the future.
Identifying underlying causes
After multiple miscarriages, doctors can test for any underlying causes. For example, an ultrasound, MRI, hysteroscopy, or hysterosalpingography can detect any uterine abnormalities. The doctor may also test tissue from the miscarriage to look for chromosomal problems. If pregnancy loss is due to an abnormality, the doctor may recommend treatment like in vitro fertilization (IVF).
Boosting your chances
There is no guaranteed strategy to avoid a miscarriage. Couples need to understand that pregnancy loss is not either partner’s fault. However, choosing a healthy lifestyle is essential for growing a healthy baby. Women should take daily prenatal supplements, abstain from alcohol, and limit caffeine to promote the healthy development of the fetus.
When will I feel better?
Miscarriage brings up a host of difficult emotions. While getting pregnant again can be joyful, there also can be a lot of stress, anxiety, or depression. Talk to trusted friends and family members about these emotions. Individuals or couples also can benefit from speaking with a professional counselor about these difficult emotions. To learn more about pregnancy after miscarriage and possible assisted reproductive technology (ART) treatments, speak with a fertility specialist.