Recurrent Pregnancy Loss: 5 Miscarriages Since 2009
Posted Jan 12 2013 10:38am
Hello Dr. Ramirez,
My husband and I have been trying to conceive since 2007. I have PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) and I have had 5 miscarriages, first one in April 2009 at 10 weeks and the others at 6 weeks. I've also lost a baby due to an incompetent cervix at 6 months. My most recent miscarriage was last month after an IFV cycle at 6 weeks. I was on baby aspirin, progesterone shot, metformin and Estrace. My fertility specialist was not able to say why I am having these recurrent miscarriages. My doctor has done blood work and all standard testing.
After numerous IUI cycles we went ahead with IVF which also led to a miscarriage. I still have four embryos left and don't want to pursue with another IVF cycle until I can get some answers as to what might have gone wrong or what I can do to change the outcome. Do you have any suggestions for me? Any feedback is greatly appreciated. N. from Canada
Hello N. from Canada,
I am sorry for all your losses! The incompetent cervix is something that can easily be handled with your next pregnancy by doing a cerclage (either a TVC or a TAC by the 16th week of gestation--a TAC can also be done pre-pregnancy). But you need to achieve and hold that next pregnancy. First, let me say that you should also read my website page where I have written extensively regarding evaluation of Recurrent Pregnancy Loss (RPL) and a possible protocol for treating this problem. Anyone who has miscarried three times or more needs to have this type of comprehensive evaluation. Some of the possible reasons you may be miscarrying include
Genetic/Chromosomal Causes (you don't state your age, but that could be factor)
Polyps, Fibroids & Uterine Disorders
Hormonal (you have PCOS, so your cycle day 9 & 10 LH needs to be checked )
Infectious, Genetic & Immune Factors
With a diagnosis of "Recurrent pregnancy loss", there is a protocol that is usually followed to evaluate for the possible causes. As stated above, this includes genetic testing (both you and your husband), immunological testing, infectious disease testing, anatomical testing, hematologic testing and hormonal testing. It is quite an extensive array of tests and can take up to two months.This is what should be done BEFORE you proceed with any more IVF cycles. The treatment will then depend on what is found. In some cases, for those with genetic causes, IVF with PGD (preimplantation genetic diagnosis) can be done to test the embryos for viability and chromosomal abherrations.
What is good is that you are able to ovulate, that your eggs fertilize and that you have been able to get pregnant. It is very difficult to go through as many miscarriages as you have and I hope that with proper evaluation you will be able to deliver a beautiful, healthy child in the near future.
Dr. Edward J. Ramirez, M.D., FACOG
Executive Medical Director
The Fertility and Gynecology Center
Monterey Bay IVF Program