Recurrent Pregnancy Loss

A woman who has lost 3 consecutive early pregnancies (before the 20th week) is officially defined as a “habitual aborter”.  Three (3) losses was chosen because it was believed at one time that a woman who fit this definition had a very slim chance of ever having a successful pregnancy in the future. However, when you look at all the data, even though woman who has lost for early pregnancies still has a reasonable chance of having a successful pregnancy without any therapy. Knowing these numbers makes you realize how difficult it can be to determine whether any therapies that are offered are truly effective or whether a subsequent pregnancy would have been successful on its own without treatment.

Based upon accumulated experience and information, most Reproductive Endocrinologists will initiate an evaluation and treatment program (if necessary) for any woman who has lost two early pregnancies. We define these women as having “recurrent pregnancy loss”. This approach was implemented rather than force a woman to lose another pregnancy just to satisfy some arbitrary textbook definition.

Women with recurrent pregnancy loss can be put into two main groups-those who have never had a successful pregnancy and those who have. With some differences, women with recurrent pregnancy loss are put through the same evaluation process as women who can’t become pregnant at all. Women who have had a successful pregnancy are different than women who have never had one. All of these factors have to be taken into consideration in determining what sort of tests need to be done.

Sometimes it is very easy to find out why the woman is losing pregnancies. Sometimes it is exceedingly difficult-if not impossible.

Sometimes it is easy to fix the problem that is present. Some problems can never be fixed but there are ways around them.

Evaluating and treating any infertility problem is an emotional roller coaster for the couple. It can be even more intense for women with recurrent pregnancy losses.  Please contact me if you have any questions or to schedule an appointment.

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