One of the most devastating experiences that a woman can have is a miscarriage. Unfortunately, having one miscarriage is not that uncommon.
Most women will go on to have a healthy pregnancy after one miscarriage. However, there are some who will continue to have two, three or more miscarriages. A woman is considered to have ‘recurrent miscarriages’when she has two or three in a row.
Chromosomal abnormalities account for up to 70 per cent of the total number of miscarriages. More common in women over thirty five years, they are, in most cases, random occurrences and will not recur in subsequent pregnancies. Although, the cause for this type of miscarriage is chromosomal error, it is usually not an inherited trait from mother or father.
After thirty five years of age, the risk of miscarriage in a woman increases. Women over forty years have more than 33 per cent chances of their pregnancies resulting in miscarriage. However, the percentage is not significantly lower (about 10 to 20) for women less than thirty five years old.
Uterine abnormalities account for 10-15 per cent of repeated miscarriages. It could be a congenital defect of the uterus, such as a double uterus or an abnormally shaped uterus. There could also be other problems like scar tissue on the uterus. Uterine abnormalities may cause problems with proper implantation, blood supply to the uterus, or lack of space for the baby to grow.
An incompetent or weakened cervix may cause second trimester miscarriage or premature labour. Incompetent cervix may require a surgical procedure called cerclage, which is a stitch around the cervix to prevent it from dilating prematurely.
- Luteal Phase Defect –The hormone progesterone helps to prepare the lining of the uterus for implantation. It also creates a nutrient rich environment for the developing baby. Luteal phase defect occurs when enough progesterone is not produced during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle. Some researchers believe that LPD could be the cause of around forty per cent of recurrent miscarriages, but there is a difference of opinion regarding this.
- Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome – More than 1/3rd of all women who have recurrent miscarriages have PCOS. Women with PCOS have higher levels of male hormones which is associated with infertility as well as miscarriage.
Auto Immune Disorders
Antibodies in the human body will fight off infections. Certain auto immune disorders will cause antibodies to fight off the pregnancy tissues as if it was an infection or a foreign body.
Certain genital infections, such as bacterial vaginosis, may increase the risk of a miscarriage.
There is some indication, although this is not substantiated by sufficient research, that defects in the male’s sperm may cause miscarriage.
In approximately fifty per cent of recurrent miscarriages, the cause of miscarriage remains unknown, even after testing. Also, it is possible to have different causes for each miscarriage. On the positive side, even if a woman has had multiple miscarriages, the odds of her having a successful pregnancy are still in her favour.
Read more articles on Miscarriage.
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