Miscarriage: Seeking Specialty Care

When people hear the word "infertility," they usually think only of the inability to conceive. Many do not know that miscarriage and infertility are often related. Some of the causes of conception difficulties may also lead to miscarriage. In fact, in the case of recurrent miscarriage (more than two losses), an infertility specialist may be the best medical practitioner to see.

Common Perceptions of Miscarriage Can Get In The Way

The loss of a pregnancy, no matter how early and no matter what it is called, is devastating. Unfortunately for many, those experiencing miscarriage (especially first trimester losses) often find their feelings of grief invalidated by those around them, including their medical practitioners. "Get over it and move on" may be the unspoken message they receive.

Many women report being told that miscarriage "just happens" and that no one really knows the reasons. Most women hear from their obstetrical practitioners that a miscarried pregnancy is most likely a sign that there was something amiss with the growing baby and that no further exploration is necessary, leaving parents-to-be feeling in limbo with their questions. Still others may be told that testing for causes is only possible if remains of the embryo/fetus are available.

The truth is that much is known about the precursors of miscarriage, and there is often preventative treatment. However, the majority of doctors use a three-loss standard: a woman must lose three pregnancies before being considered a "recurrent spontaneous aborter" (RSA) or "habitual aborter", and therefore become eligible for exploratory testing. Unfortunately, many women take their practitioner's lack of action as reason to passively (and fearfully) "wait it out and hope" that subsequent pregnancies result in a live birth.