for Recurrent Pregnancy Loss
Welcome to the Center for Recurrent Pregnancy Loss at Pacific NW Fertility.
Since the Center opened in 2010, we have helped hundreds of patients and furthered research in the field of miscarriage. If you have recurrent miscarriages—we are here to help.
With the increased demand we’ve seen, wait times can be frustrating. In order to care for your best and meet your needs, we recommend you make an intake appointment with one of our experienced ARNPs who can review your personal history, explain the evaluation, and help coordinate testing either with us or through your primary care provider. Then, when you meet with your doctor, you can focus on the interpretation of test results and make the right plan for you.
FAQs About Recurrent Pregnancy Loss
What is recurrent pregnancy loss?
A miscarriage is considered a spontaneous loss of a pregnancy before 20 weeks of gestation and recurrent pregnancy loss (or recurrent miscarriage) is usually defined as at least 3 consecutive miscarriages. Isolated miscarriage can be common and it is estimated that approximately 30% of all pregnancies end before 6 weeks gestation. Incidence of recurrent pregnancy loss is difficult to estimate, but some research suggests that at least 2-5% of women have had 3 or more miscarriages. The American Society of Reproductive Medicine encourages the evaluation of a patient with 2 or more miscarriages so that any issue detected may be addressed before a third loss.
What causes a couple to have recurrent pregnancy loss?
The most common cause of first trimester miscarriage is a chromosome imbalance in the embryo. Miscarriages can be tested for this issue but many are not. An evaluation for causes for recurrent miscarriage involves testing the people who are conceiving but may not result in an answer since the answer often lies within the embryo. Testing is important because if an issue is discovered and treated, miscarriage risk can be decreased. These issues can be anatomical (septum or fibroid), hormonal (thyroid disease), immune (antiphospholipid syndrome), chronic disease, or genetic. We provide a thorough, evidence-based evaluation at PNWF.
What testing can be done for recurrent pregnancy loss?
The testing should be tailored to each individual couple and their history. In general, testing includes a uterine cavity evaluation and blood tests screening for ovarian reserve, hormonal imbalances, genetic issues (balanced translocation), and antiphopholipid syndrome (an immune issue associated with miscarriage), and a semen analysis.
What kind of treatment is available for recurrent pregnancy loss?
The treatment options depend on the results of the evaluation. If a hormonal issue is discovered through testing, the treatment is medical. If a structural defect is discovered in the uterus, the treatment is surgical. For the 50% of patients have all test results come back as normal, the most common reason for their losses is aneuploidy – an imbalance of chromosomes within the embryo (a genetic issue that happens at the level of the egg and sperm by chance). In these cases, the options are trying again with the support of your team at PNWF or screening the embryos for a genetic defect before conceiving. Genetic screening of embryos (sometimes called preimplantation genetic screening or testing), requires in vitro fertilization (IVF). We offer this option at PNWF and a discussion about it’s benefits and drawbacks is an important part of your care with us.
What is the next step?
Contact our helpful patient care coordinators to get started with your evaluation and treatment. The demand for appointments can be high at times, we’re here to help.