Recurrent Miscarriages

Recurrent Miscarriages: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatment

Miscarriage is the most common type of pregnancy loss, and recurrent miscarriage is defined as having two or more losses in a row. This condition affects between 1 and 5% of couples, and while it is heartbreaking, there are treatments that can help increase the chances of a healthy pregnancy.

Causes of Recurrent Miscarriage

In most cases, the cause of recurrent miscarriages is never found. However, in about 20% of cases, doctors are able to determine a cause. These causes can include:

  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Uterine abnormalities
  • Genetic factors
  • Thrombophilia, or blood-clotting disorders
  • Infections, such as toxoplasmosis or listeriosis
  • Exposure to toxins, alcohol, or drugs

Symptoms of Recurrent Miscarriage

The most obvious symptom of recurrent miscarriage is the repeated loss of pregnancy. This can be physical symptoms (fever, cramps, or bleeding, for example) or emotional symptoms (depression or anxiety). Other symptoms of recurrent miscarriage can include:

  • Fatigue
  • Pelvic pain
  • Bloating
  • Low back pain
  • Mood swings

Diagnosis of Recurrent Miscarriage

If you’ve had two or more miscarriages in a row, you may be referred to a specialist for diagnostic testing. These tests can include blood work, ultrasounds, and a pelvic exam. You may also have an evaluation of your uterus with either a hysteroscopy or an X-ray. These tests will help your doctor determine if there is a cause for your recurrent miscarriages.

Treatment of Recurrent Miscarriage

The type of treatment for recurrent miscarriage will depend on the cause, if it has been identified. Some potential treatments include:

  • Surgery to correct any uterine abnormalities, such as fibroids or polyps
  • Medication to treat infections or hormonal imbalances
  • Blood-thinning medications to treat thrombophilia
  • Antibodies to treat autoimmune disorders
  • Assisted reproductive technology (ART) if necessary

If your doctor can identify the cause of your recurrent miscarriages, they will be able to recommend a specific course of treatment. In cases where no cause can be identified, some couples may seek out alternative treatments such as acupuncture or herbal remedies.