Recurrent pregnancy loss, sometimes called habitual abortion, miscarriage, or recurrent spontaneous abortion, is defined as losing 2-3 consecutive pregnancies in either the first trimester or the early second trimester of pregnancy. Estimates suggest that around half of all embryos that implant will fail to lead to a successful pregnancy. Most pregnancy loss occurs before the tenth week, and the rate of miscarriage increases with maternal age, especially after age 35.
Recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL) or recurrent miscarriage (RM) affects approximately 1-5% of reproductive-age couples. This diagnosis can be emotionally challenging and confusing for many couples, but studies indicate that even after three losses, there is still a very good chance of having a successful pregnancy when fertility treatments are used.
In evaluating a patient for RPL, a doctor should consider:
- Reviewing all prior pregnancies and their outcomes
- Screening the patient for conditions that can cause blood clots
- Testing for certain autoimmune disorders
- A chromosomal analysis of both partners
- A sonohysterogram or hysterosalpingiogram (HSG) to screen for uterine abnormalities
- Testing thyroid function and prolactin levels
- Egg quantity and quality
The treatment of RPL should be based on a doctor’s evaluation. If all test results appear normal, the odds of a favorable result are good. In studies of women with recurrent or unexplained pregnancy loss where no active medical treatments are used, successful pregnancies still occur in more than 65% of cases.
With nearly two decades of experience building families, Colorado Reproductive Endocrinology is a leading fertility clinic in the Denver area. If you have experienced recurrent pregnancy loss, and would like to see one of our doctors, please call us at (303) 321-7115 or request an appointment to schedule an evaluation.