Updated: October 19, 2019 4:39:18 pm
Recurrent pregnancy loss is defined as the occurrence of three or more consecutive miscarriages. But why does it happen? Dr Pratibha Singhal, Director and Senior Consultant, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Cloudnine Hospital, talked to Express Parenting about the causes of recurrent pregnancy loss and the necessary precautions to be taken before planning a pregnancy.
“(Recurrent pregnancy loss) does not mean the end of obstetric path for any couple. If properly worked out under the good care of an obstetrician, pregnancy can be successful even after three consecutive miscarriages or more,” Dr Singhal said.
Couples need to seek timely advice, she advised.
Causes of recurrent pregnancy loss
Following are the major causes of recurrent pregnancy losses, according to Dr Singhal.
This is known to be the most common cause of pregnancy loss. There could be defects in the formation of the uterus. This often goes undiagnosed till a woman has had at least two abortions/miscarriages.
Antiphospholipid syndrome (APLA) is an autoimmune state which causes blood clots to form with arteries, veins and organs, and requires timely treatment.
In this case, the cervix is weak and is not able to hold the pregnancy, as a result of which it aborts between 14 to 20 weeks. Cervical insufficiency can be there by birth in some cases or it can be following any surgical procedure.
Among the other causes are hormonal and metabolic diseases, uterine infections, malnutrition, weight issues, severe kidney or heart diseases, diabetes, and cytogenetic diseases (involving tissues, blood, bone marrow). “Less common causes are stressful conditions, may be at work or may be at home,” said the doctor.
Precautions to avoid recurrent miscarriages
1. Do not delay the first pregnancy too much. The miscarriage rate among pregnant women above the age of 35 is 25 per cent, which rises to about 51 per cent for women above the age of 40.
2. If there is any suspicion of APLA syndrome, it should be investigated and treated at the earliest.
3. Consumption of alcohol and smoking are frequently associated with recurrent miscarriages. So, these should ideally be given up before planning pregnancy.
4. Reduce intake of coffee and tea before planning pregnancy.
5. Maintain a normal BMI (body mass index) of 25 by keeping their weight in check.
6. In case of uterine anomalies, the necessary corrections should be done before going ahead with the pregnancy.
7. Polyps and fibroids, if found in the uterus, should be surgically corrected.
8. There are women who have baseline hypertension and it is important to correct it and then proceed for pregnancy.
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