Although many women have a hard time conceiving, some women actually struggle to stay pregnant. Roughly two out of every ten pregnancies end in miscarriage, but most women go on to have a successful pregnancy. Recurrent pregnancy loss is classified as two or three miscarriages in a row. When you suffer repeated losses, it can feel particularly devastating.
After three miscarriages, your OB-GYN may recommend that you see a reproductive endocrinologist for further testing. Various factors can contribute to recurrent pregnancy loss, including:
Though miscarriage can occur at any age, the odds increase after age 35. By age 40, over one-third of pregnancies end in miscarriage.
Issues such as scarring, abnormal shaping of the uterus and an incompetent cervix can lead to recurrent pregnancy loss. If your physician identifies a physical problem, surgery or other treatment may be recommended to increase your odds of maintaining a pregnancy.
Conditions like polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), low progesterone, and uncontrolled Type 1 Diabetes can play a role in repeated losses.
Your body develops antibodies to fight infection. Sometimes, a woman will develop antibodies that treat a pregnancy like a foreign body, which can cause clot off the blood flow to the placenta. Low-doses of aspirin or a blood thinner like heparin can address this condition.
Because some vaginal infections are linked to miscarriage, your doctor will run tests to rule out this cause.
Even with testing, over 50 percent of couples never identify the cause of their pregnancy losses. While that statistic can seem frustrating, there is reason for hope. Of the couples dealing with repeated miscarriages, 60 to 70 percent eventually have a successful pregnancy.