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Recurrent Miscarriages and how to help your chances of a successful pregnancy

It can be emotionally devastating to see the excitement of a positive pregnancy test turn into the grief of yet another lost baby. Particularly so if that child was conceived after a struggle with getting pregnant in the first place.

Miscarriage ‘normally’ occurs approximately 1 in five pregnancies, but recurrent miscarriage is the diagnosis given to women who have had at least 3 positive pregnancy tests that have not progressed. Both partners should be involved in the miscarriage-prevention workup, as sperm contributes 50% of the genetic material of the embryo.

Causes of miscarriages vary, and thorough investigation needs to be done to address factors that can be remedied. These include:

  • A predisposition to clotting more easily and immune issues (diagnosed by blood tests ordered by a GP, gynaecologist or recurrent miscarriage specialist)
  • Nutritional deficiencies – these can be worked out via blood and urine tests, genetic testing, hair analysis, symptoms and signs. Some nutrients that play a key factor in avoiding miscarriages include folate (in some cases a special ‘activated’ form of folate where there a genetic predisposition to increased requirements), zinc (in both partners), iodine (if deficient can contribute to lowered thyroid function), iron, Vitamin D, omega 3’s and certain antioxidants. There is no point taking nutrients ‘hoping’ they will assist unless a proven need exists! Undiagnosed coeliac disease can lead to a host of nutritional deficiencies that increase miscarriage risk.
  • Hormonal imbalances such as insufficient progesterone or thyroid imbalance. A helpful assessment tool is to use basal temperature and symptom charting.
  • Environmental toxicity – cigarettes, electromagnetic radiation, heavy metal exposure and occupational exposure to toxins can increase miscarriage rates. In my experience, couples undertaking a thorough “Detox” prior to embarking upon further conception tries can make a huge difference.
  • Infections – low grade genitourinary tract infections such as Mycoplasma, Ureaplasma and possibly candida (‘thrush’) can create a hostile environment for foetal growth
  • Timing of conception – ideally conception should occur as close to ovulation as possible, ensuring healthy eggs and sperm. Ideally a woman is well aware of her fertile symptoms, and ovulates before day 17 of her cycle.
  • Other possible factors can include chronic stress, anatomical concerns with the uterus, teratogenic effects and ‘unknown’ factors.

It is extremely beneficial to have a thorough workup prior to conceiving again, with someone specializing in this upsetting concern. It takes some perseverance and patience to get to the bottom of the causative factors, but it’s well worth it when you are holding your long-awaited baby in your arms!

Once pregnant, ongoing evaluation during the pregnancy with a specialist naturopath, and support with an acupuncturist specialising in miscarriage is ideal.

For a lovely success story go to: http://www.alldegreesofhealth.com.au/a-little-miracle/

Listen to Doreen Schwegler’s podcast interview about recurrent miscarriage from Holistic Fertility in USA.