Having a miscarriage can feel like your world has been turned upside down. But as upsetting as pregnancy loss can be, for most women, it’s an experience they only have to go through once.
Unfortunately, about 1% of women have recurrent pregnancy loss, defined as two or more miscarriages. For these women, the experience can be devastating, ushering in fears that they’ll never be able to carry a pregnancy to term.
At his practice in Newburgh, Indiana, Paul W. Morrison, M.D., uses state-of-the-art techniques to determine the causes of recurrent pregnancy loss in women throughout the Evansville area. He also provides custom treatment options to support full-term pregnancies. Here’s a review of some of the most common causes of repeated miscarriages.
Single (one-time) miscarriages happen in about 20% of all known pregnancies (pregnancies confirmed by a lab test). Many more miscarriages happen in the very early days of pregnancy, even before a woman misses her period.
Many factors can cause recurrent pregnancy loss, and determining the cause is the first step in preventing future miscarriages.
Pregnancy requires a significant change in your hormone levels. If your hormones don’t adapt, the uterine lining may not be strong enough to support egg implantation or a developing fetus. Lots of issues can cause hormonal imbalances, including:
High blood levels of a hormone called prolactin can also cause pregnancy loss.
Genetic problems in a developing fetus can also cause a miscarriage. Chromosomal abnormalities in a fetus can cause a spontaneous pregnancy loss.
If your uterus has an unusual shape, you’ll be more likely to have a miscarriage. Uterine fibroids — which are noncancerous growth in your uterus — can also interfere with conception and fetal development.
The cervix is the opening of the uterus, and during pregnancy, a strong muscle keeps the cervix closed and the fetus protected. If the cervix is weak, the growing fetus can put pressure on the muscle, which can result in pregnancy loss.
In addition to Type 1 diabetes, other immune system-related problems, such as lupus, can increase the likelihood of miscarraige as well. And some women have high levels of antibodies that attack the developing embryo.
Regular exposure to environmental toxins can cause recurrent pregnancy loss in some women. Lifestyle habits, such as smoking, drinking alcohol, and even consuming caffeine, can trigger miscarriages as well.
Being obese or significantly overweight can increase your risk of suffering a miscarriage, and it can also increase your risk and your unborn baby’s risk of developing health problems.
Carrying a baby to term depends on a lot of underlying health and lifestyle factors. If you’ve had multiple miscarriages, there are treatments that can help you enjoy a successful, full-term pregnancy. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone with the practice of Paul W. Morrison, M.D. today.