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Another miscarriage?

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Miscarriage is an emotionally and sometimes physically painful experience which can have a lasting effect on a woman, her partner and her family. Multiple miscarriages are understandably distressing and the loss of an embryo at any stage of a pregnancy can be utterly soul-destroying for those who endure the disappointment and heartache of an unsuccessful pregnancy. Many women feel that they are somehow to blame, especially when a definitive reason cannot be given for the miscarriage. Although limited research is currently available to explain conclusively why miscarriages happen, experts have noticed some problems which may contribute.

What can cause recurring miscarriage?

• Antiphospholipid syndrome (APS)

Also referred to as Hughes Syndrome, APS causes the body to produce antibodies that attack the phospholipids (a type of fat) present in blood, which in turn makes the blood sticky and heightens the probability of clotting. It is thought this stickiness can prevent proper implantation of the embryo or perhaps that blood flow to the embryo is restricted.

• Weakness of the Cervix

This problem is a cause of miscarriages occurring in the second trimester. The cervix is located between the uterus and the vagina and dilates, usually in the latter stages of during labour so the baby can be born. If a woman has a weak cervix, labour can begin prematurely, resulting in a miscarriage.

Factors which may increase the risk of miscarriage

• Both your age and the age of your partner can determine the likelihood of a successful pregnancy. If a woman is over 35 and her partner over 40, the risk of miscarriage is increased.

• Women who are significantly overweight or underweight are more likely to suffer miscarriages.

• Those who have suffered previous miscarriages are more likely to experience another, but even after multiple miscarriages couples can have a successful pregnancy.

Although some reasons have been identified as causes of miscarriage, in many cases it can merely be guess work as to why it occurs. There is currently limited research into the exact causes of recurrent miscarriages but some medical experts believe there are a range of factors that may cause pregnancies to end.

• Infections such as rubella, listeria and toxoplasmosis are believed to be causes of miscarriage yet it is not known whether infections can cause recurrent miscarriages.

• Polycystic Ovary Syndrome – PCOS results in the presence of cysts on ovaries and abnormal hormonal activity. Although a pattern of recurrent miscarriage has been noted in women with PCOS it is not apparent exactly why this is the case.

miscarriage

Can recurrent miscarriages be prevented?

There are many tests that can be carried out to determine if you have any problems which may be causing you to experience miscarriages, including tests for inherited disorders, APS and difficulties with blood clotting. Distressing as it may be, tests can also be carried out on the foetus which you have miscarried, should it have happened in a hospital setting. These tests may help to determine whether the foetus suffered from any chromosomal abnormalities.

Treatments

Depending on the suspected cause of your miscarriages, you may be offered preventative treatments to assist with a successful pregnancy. As research is limited at this moment it time, it is not known whether these treatments or additional supplements can help, but specialists will be able to offer more information about help that is available.

In many cases the cause of multiple miscarriages is simply not known and this is obviously difficult for most couples to accept. It is important to know that there is support available and you should be offered access to a counselling service should you require emotional support. Other help is easily accessible including The Miscarriage Association, Relate and The Samaritans.

It can feel as if you are going through this alone as it is happening to your body, but it can be helpful to discuss your feelings and fears with a trained counsellor. It would also be beneficial for your partner to express their emotions as they may be experiencing the same despairing grief alongside a feeling of helplessness. It may be beneficial to speak to other women and their partners who have experienced multiple miscarriages, and your GP or health professional should be able to recommend relevant groups in your area.

 

 

 

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About Denise Morgan

About Denise Morgan

Denise has five years' experience writing for various web-based companies. During this time she has also contributed to magazine articles and brochures. In addition to writing, Denise is a gigging singer/songwriter and is proud to have featured on the first series of BBC One's The Voice UK, having been selected by the great Sir Tom Jones. Denise is mother to the most talented and ridiculously intelligent two year old that has ever been and ever will be (until she creates another one that is). This kind of hyperbole is restricted only to her progeny and is not a reflection of her usual writing styles... Denise and her son live in Manchester along with their five cats - yes that's right, five.

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