Almost all couples look forward to a smooth ride in their child birth journey, unfortunately for some its a different story. Some people experience recurrent miscarriage before any live birth while some experience this after having 1 or 2 live birth(s). This can be distressing for the couple. It affects them psychologically; some may feel depressed while some on the other hand feel anxious.
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What do we mean by recurrent miscarriage?
When you loose 3 or more pregnancy consecutively without voluntary termination before 20weeks of pregnancy, it is called recurrent miscarriage. Some women will not recognize that they are pregnant before this happens, therefore not all miscarriages are even noticed.
The ones that are noticed can be distressing for the couples who has been trying to conceive for sometime. While for some the cause can be identifiable, for others the cause is largely unknown. In view of this, recurrent miscarriage may not be totally preventable, although the couple can work hand in hand with the clinician to reduce the risk of other episodes.
What are the causes of recurrent miscarriage?
In most couples who has had recurrent miscarriage, a cause will be identified after several investigations, although in few no cause will be detected. The common causes of recurrent miscarriage are as follows:
- Abnormality in the formation of a baby or placenta can result in recurrent miscarriage. This usually occurs in the first 3months of pregnancy. A baby that is not well formed cannot grow well and after a few weeks, this tends to end in miscarriage. Also, the placenta transfer nutrient and oxygen from the mother to the baby but when the placenta is malformed, the baby cannot get the nutrient required. This can lead to miscarriage.
- In some women, there is tendency of clot more likely to form in their blood. In these set of people if a clot forms in their placenta, it can lead to shortage of oxygen and nutrient transfer to the baby. This can lead to miscarriage.
- If any of the partner has abnormality in his gene, it can lead to recurrent miscarriage. The affected person may not be aware of this as people affected usually live a normal life. It is usually detected during routine investigations for recurrent miscarriage.
- Abnormality of the structure of the womb or its abnormal formation can lead to recurrent miscarriage.
- A cervix that is weak cannot retain pregnancy. Miscarriage due to this usually occurs after 3 months of pregnancy.
- Infection of the inside of your womb, severe malaria or other forms of infection can cause you to have miscarriage if not treated on time.
- Long term health conditions( hypertension, diabetes) not properly managed can tilt a woman to have miscarriage.
- If you take a drug that is not safe in pregnancy, you can have miscarriage. A pregnant woman should not take over the counter drugs except the drugs recommended by her physician.
- Your risk of having miscarriage increases as you grow older. This is because the quality of the egg released by your ovary reduces as you grow older. This also applies to the father. His risk of releasing abnormal sperm increases as he grows older. This can lead to abnormally formed baby thereby ending in miscarriage.
- Other causes include smoking and alcoholism.
- People that are overweight, obese or underweight before pregnancy are also at risk of having miscarriage.
- Women who lift heavy weight can have miscarriage.
- Physical and psychological stress can cause miscarriage.
Effect of recurrent miscarriage on the couple
A couple who has had recurrent miscarriage can still have a full term pregnancy later in life. Recurrent miscarriage can be distressing to the couple. It can cause emotional imbalance. It can lead to family issues and violence. It can bring about low self esteem and low self worth.
How to prevent recurrent miscarriage?
- Eat healthy diet.
- Stop smoking and reduce alcohol intake.
- Maintain a normal weight before you conceive.
- Regular exercise.
- Avoid drugs that are not prescribed by a physician.
- If you have any long term illness , take your drugs as prescribed and be regular for check-ups.
- Avoid injury to your tommy if you are pregnant.
- If you feel sick, see your physician for treatment.
The impact of recurrent miscarriage on mental health of a couple can be devastating, avoiding the risk factors can help to reduce this. You may also need to see your physician for possible workup on some other causes and you will be managed accordingly.
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