Recurrent Miscarriage: A Form of Infertility

For anyone who has experienced more than one miscarriage, the headline is striking: "Gene Linked to Repeat Miscarriages." While the researchers themselves caution that their results are not enough to warrant special related treatment, the report offers another piece to the puzzle of recurrent miscarriage.

Losing a pregnancy, no matter how early, is difficult emotionally. For those who have struggled to conceive in the first place, it can be devastating.

Depending on who you talk to, "recurrent miscarriage" refers to the loss of more than one, two, or three pregnancies. It is also referred to with the terms:

  • Recurrent spontaneous abortion, or RSA
  • Habitual spontaneous abortion or loss
  • Repeat miscarriage

So, when headlines are made by researchers disclosing their latest findings, some infertility patients take notes.

Bearing in mind that nearly half of all miscarriages occur as the result of unknown or undetermined causes, what are the known causes of losing any given pregnancy?

Structural

The good news is that most structurally related miscarriages can be prevented with treatment of the underlying problem. Unfortunately, many women are unaware of the existence of these loss precursors:

  • Uterine fibroids
  • Congenital uterine malformations, such as septate or bicornuate uterus
  • Some other uterine conditions
  • Incompetent cervix, most notably in second trimester or later losses
  • Endometriosis
If you have any reason to suspect any of the above situations, ask your doctor before you conceive whether or not further exploration is warranted.