Women who are trying to have a baby often know they are pregnant even before they’ve missed their period. As their excitement builds, it’s very hard not to share the news with close friends and family. But about 20% of all pregnancies end in an early miscarriage, 25% for women above age 30. If you or your partner have a fertility issue, those numbers can be even higher. The good news is, we can help.
While one early miscarriage is normal, a second early miscarriage in a row is not just heartbreaking, it can also designate a problem. If you experience that, we are so sorry. We know it’s a huge emotional disappointment. There is also the physical stress that no one talks about (bloating and weight gain) and it eats up time in your fertility window which can add even more stress. So yes, a fertility specialist can help you hopefully answer some questions and avoid the heartbreak of a third.
Let’s take a quick look at why these early miscarriages happen and how a fertility clinic can help you overcome them to achieve a healthy baby.
What causes early miscarriage?
Problems with chromosomes
About half of all miscarriages are caused when an embryo (fertilized egg) gets the wrong number of chromosomes. Each person has 23 pairs of chromosomes, or 46 in all. For each pair, you get one chromosome from the female and one from the male. Irregular eggs or sperm can cause chromosomal abnormalities. People often assume that an early miscarriage is caused by a factor on the female side, but sperm can be a major factor, as it contributes half of the chromosomes. The good news is, no matter the cause, we have ways to help.
Uterus or cervix problems
Scar tissue can make the cervix or the uterus inhospitable to an embryo. A relatively quick procedure can remove the problem.
Septate uterus. This is when a band of muscle or tissue (called a septum) divides the uterus in two sections. If you have a septate uterus, we will most likely perform a quick surgery before you try to get pregnant to repair your uterus and reduce your risk of miscarriage.
Fibroids (growths) in the uterus or scars from surgery can interfere with an embryo’s development. Fibroids and scars can limit space or block blood supply. Before you try to get pregnant, you may need a surgery called myomectomy to remove them.
Infections, like sexually transmitted diseases (also called STDs), can cause miscarriage. An STD, like genital herpes and syphilis, is an infection you can get from having sex with someone who is infected. We can run a few tests to make sure you’re in the clear. Early testing and treatment, usually with antibiotics, can fix most of these.
Hormonal imbalances of prolactin, thyroid hormone, or progesterone can result in miscarriage. Illnesses such as diabetes mellitus or immune system abnormalities may increase the chances too.
How a fertility Clinic can help.
One of the first steps in working with a fertility clinic is to get your blood work done so we can check your thyroid and your ovarian reserve. We’ll be able to see not just the quantity but also the quality of your eggs.
A skilled fertility nurse will perform an ultrasound to make sure your uterus is shaped normally and that you do not have scar tissue or fibroids. Experts at keeping women pregnant during the first trimester, we will go through a checklist of things that might cause miscarriages and fix them with medication or quick surgeries (if necessary).
A semen analysis is key in observing if the partner’s sperm is properly shaped. Sperm can be washed and there are ways to eliminate the unhealthy ones so just the active, properly shaped sperm are used in an IUI procedure.
The bottom line is, get help from a professional sooner than later. Miscarriages are awful to go through and take up too much time in your fertility window. Plus, your body can think it is still pregnant for months, retaining water, weight, and feeling fatigued – not to mention the emotional stress.
Get a devoted team of experts on your side. If a baby is your desire, only you can make it happen. At Overlake Reproductive Health, we will try to get you pregnant with a viable pregnancy the least invasive way possible. And we’ll try and do it quickly. We understand our patients have already been through a lot. Sometimes all it takes is a new medication, sometimes IUI, sometimes we do have to use IVF with PGT-A genetic testing of embryos, ICSI, and assisted hatching. But yes, multiple early pregnancy losses are a form of infertility and we can help.