Recurrent Pregnancy Loss
Recurrent pregnancy loss, or RPL, is defined by 2 or more miscarriages before the pregnancy progresses past the 20th week. The losses can be biochemical or clinical losses to be considered as recurrent pregnancy losses.
Different Types of Pregnancy Loss
A clinical pregnancy loss is one where the pregnancy has been diagnosed via ultrasound, with a gestational age of between 5 and 6 weeks. Biochemical pregnancy is one that has been diagnosed through urine or blood tests before disappearing.
What Causes Recurrent Pregnancy Loss
Genetic abnormalities, lifestyle, environmental factors, anatomic conditions, and underlying medical conditions can all cause RPL. All too frequently, there are no definitive answers as to what causes the loss.
Treatment for RPL
The good news is that it is possible to treat many causes of RPL. Although multiple miscarriages can cause stress, up to 80 percent of those who experience 3 miscarriages will go on to have a full-term pregnancy. Don’t let fear of female infertility affect your plans, early intervention can increase the odds of a successful outcome. If you are experiencing RPL, Austin female fertility and Recurrent Pregnancy Loss specialist Dr. Dan Lebovic can help look for and treat the underlying cause, giving you a better chance at a successful pregnancy.
Making some lifestyle changes may be enough to boost female fertility for some women. Both drug use and smoking increase the risk of miscarriage. For some women, lowering the amount of caffeine and alcohol they consume can help as well.
Maintaining a healthy weight is also helpful for maintaining a healthy pregnancy. For those who would benefit from weight loss, healthy food choices and regular exercise not only aid in weight loss but also help with the stressful emotions that often go along with pregnancy loss.
In some cases, RPL is due to genetic issues in one or both parents. A blood test is used to diagnose these issues. If chromosomal issues are found, genetic counseling can help the couple explore their options.
Some women have health conditions that increase the risk of miscarriage. Often, the woman has no prior knowledge of the issue, however, both clotting issues and autoimmune conditions may require treatment with blood thinners to maintain a healthy pregnancy. The treatment may be as simple as low-dose aspirin or may require a more aggressive blood thinner.
Treatment for Other Health Conditions
There are several health conditions that can affect female fertility. An over or under-active thyroid gland, high levels of prolactin, or out-of-balance blood sugar levels can all affect a woman’s ability to maintain a healthy pregnancy. Specific blood tests that check for overall health and hormone levels is often all that is needed to diagnose these cases of female infertility.
Not all cases of female infertility can be treated through lifestyle changes and medications. Some conditions require surgery. The good news is, that once these issues are diagnosed, the treatment is often quick and the recovery time short. Scar tissue and fibroids in the uterus can make it an inhospitable place for the embryo. Once the excess tissue is removed, the likelihood of a successful, full-term pregnancy increases.