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While October is a time to honor Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness, this is a heartbreaking issue that occurs year round for too many. Experiencing a miscarriage opens you up to a tremendous range of emotions, including anger, depression, isolation, and shame. If you’ve had a miscarriage, it’s vital not to judge yourself or your feelings. Pregnancy loss is a physical and emotional trauma, and you should take the time you need to work through it. When you’re ready to try to conceive again, we review some of the most common reasons someone can have a miscarriage and options to investigate.
Potential Reasons for a Miscarriage
Approximately 80 percent of miscarriages happen before 20 weeks of pregnancy. According to the APA, about 10 to 25 percent will end in a miscarriage. While you may feel alone, the unfortunate reality is that pregnancy loss is more common than one may think.
Various factors cause pregnancy losses within the first trimester. They could include autoimmune issues, endocrine issues, uterine anomalies, MTHFR, hypothyroidism, and chromosomal abnormality. Learn more about a funcitonal approach with miscarriage here.
While all of the above are possible explanations, according to research, miscarriages occur most often due to chromosomal or genetic factors. If you’ve had more than two or three miscarriages, it is known as “Recurrent Pregnancy Loss” (RPL). Enduring this many miscarriages is not normal. Your body may be signaling to you there’s an underlying issue that, if addressed, can help you have a healthy pregnancy.
Please note that even if you’ve conceived naturally, seeing a doctor is a smart idea if you’ve had several miscarriages. Chromosomal abnormalities are often the cause of roughly 70 percent of miscarriages. Doctors may recommend genetic testing like PGT-A.
Addressing Potential Factors That Caused a Miscarriage
Some first steps should be looking at your overall health. This includes food intolerance and taking a functional approach that can uncover healing opportunities.
In addition to addressing your physical health and emotional health, we also highly recommended you speak to your doctor, preferably a Reproductive Endocrinologist (RE), who specializes in trying to conceive and pregnancy loss.
Your RE will base their recommendation or fertility treatment plan based on your health history, fertility work-up, and family goals. Still, we encourage you to familiarize yourself with each test, condition, and concerns so you can make sure you’re able to collaborate with your doctor on your care.
Your doctor can perform:
- Blood work: They can use blood tests to review your hormone levels, your progesterone, if you have the MTHFR Gene Mutation, and run a thyroid panel
- An ultrasound: This is to look at your uterus, ovaries, etc. and make sure there are no issues
- A hysterosalpingogram: This is an x-ray that looks at the uterus and fallopian tubes in greater detail
- An Endometrial Biopsy: If they feel perhaps there’s an implantation concern
Mentioned above is PGT-A, Preimplantation Genetic Testing for Aneuploidies. PGT-A is a genetic test that looks at embryos chromosomes. If an embryo is identified as “aneuploidy,” there is an abnormal number of chromomes. Aneuploid embryos have a higher risk of miscarriage. Embryos that are “euploid” are ones that are deemed most likely to result in a healthy pregnancy and baby. PGT-A is often suggested if RPL is a concern.
Another genetic test to discuss with your reproductive endocrinologist is PGT-M. PGT-M stands for Pre-implantation Genetic Testing for Monogenic Diseases. “Monogenic” means it looks for a single gene disorder such as Cancer, Tay-Sachs, Cystic Fibrosis, Sickle Cell Anemia, or Huntington’s Disease. If you explore your family history and your partners and discover any of these conditions, PGT-M is worth mentioning to your RE.
Getting The Support You Need
There are several support organizations for pregnancy loss. We invite you to join the Free Fab Fertile Support Group on Facebook and learn about our Fab Fertile Method, which can help repeat miscarriage.
We’re also big believers in addressing your relationship. Couples can deal with pregnancy loss differently. We aim to help you and your partner through our Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) and Couples Coaching Program. We offer customized coaching and nutrition calls that allow you to focus on your preconception health in the best way possible while layering in mindfulness, fertility yoga, and mindset strategies to set you up for success.
Need support? Book your FREE Supercharge Your Fertility Discovery call here! Learn simple strategies that can help you prepare your body for a baby.
Sarah Clark empowers couples to discover how lifestyle and diet can dramatically impact their chances of conceiving. She was diagnosed with premature ovarian failure at 28 and had both her kids with donor eggs. Not until years later did she discover that the root cause of her infertility was a food intolerance. Join the Free Fab Fertile Support Group on Facebook for mini-challenges, motivation and inspiration!
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