By: Susan Wolf, M.D.
Recurrent miscarriage, also known as recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL) is a heartbreaking, but not uncommon, condition. Studies have shown that up to 5% of women suffer 2 pregnancy losses. We find a reason for the miscarriage in about 50% patients.
The most common reason for miscarriage is that the pregnancy is not chromosomally normal and as a result, cannot develop past a certain point. If tissue is obtained from the pregnancy, it can be tested for genetic abnormalities. Although there is nothing that can be done to change that, it is sometimes comforting to know that there was a reason for the loss. Other reasons include an abnormal arrangement of chromosomes in the parents, abnormalities of the uterine cavity, as well as other medical conditions in the mother.
The work-up for evaluating a couple with RPL includes blood testing on both partners to check for an abnormal arrangement of chromosomes, testing of the female partner to evaluate the cavity of the uterus, and blood testing on the female partner to check for various hormonal, metabolic or autoimmune abnormalities.
Depending on what the work-up reveals, you may require no treatment, a range of medical therapies, hysteroscopic uterine surgery or it may be recommended that you do In Vitro Fertilization with pre-implantation genetic testing (PGS) of the embryos. The good news is that sometimes we find something that we can easily fix!