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Recurrent Miscarriages - When Everything Isn't Fine Next Time

Pregnancy Loss & TTCAL Info Spot

Information on pregnancy loss, grief, coping, ttcal & more.

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October 20th, 2009, 09:24 PM
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Recurrent Miscarriages - When Everything Isn't Fine Next Time

An Overview of Emotional and Physical Concerns in Multiple Pregnancy Losses

If you have had two or more miscarriages , you are probably deeply jaded and frustrated with reading everywhere about how you probably won’t miscarry again. The first time you miscarried, your doctor probably told you the odds were low that it would happen again. Your friends and relatives may have tried to reassure you that, “everything will be fine next time.” You may have even reassured yourself by believing that.

Recurrent miscarriages may shake your belief in any type of favorable statistical odds. The American Pregnancy Association claims that 1% of all couples have multiple losses. Truly it feels like winning a bad lottery.

Emotional Concerns After Recurrent Pregnancy Loss

The first concern is obviously your mental health. You may have an even harder time dealing with your second loss than you did with your first one, given that you may understandably find no comfort in statistical reassurances (even though statistics remain in favor of your next pregnancy being normal). Recurrent miscarriages can feel like a betrayal by your body -- everything was supposed to be fine and then it was not.

Your relationship with your partner may face additional strain after multiple miscarriages. Men often cope more quickly with pregnancy loss than women do, and this can be a source of conflict if the woman interprets this as the man not caring rather than merely handling his feelings differently. In couples, sometimes the man may tend to feel that the woman is dwelling too much on the experience and end up not giving her room to grieve the way she needs to.

Women who have had recurrent pregnancy losses do have higher than average odds of developing anxiety and depression for obvious reasons. You may find yourself especially anxious about the prospect of trying to get pregnant again. Whether you’re trying to conceive again or not, numerous online support groups exist for recurrent pregnancy loss. As with any type of loss, you should not have to face your experience alone.

Physical Concerns After Recurrent Pregnancy Loss

If you have had two miscarriages in a row, you should see a medical practitioner for a basic testing workup for miscarriage causes, such as uterine shape problems, blood clotting disorders, and possible hormonal imbalances. The tests will include a number of blood tests and possibly imaging tests of your uterus. You may want to hold off on trying to conceive again until you have completed the testing.

Your practitioner may tell you that you need to have three miscarriages in order to have any testing. Although some doctors may still follow this guideline, in February 2001 the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) changed its recommendations for miscarriage management to say that practitioners should run tests after two consecutive losses, given that incidence of treatable problems was not much higher after three losses than after two.

If you are not comfortable with your current practitioner, consider finding a new one -- possibly a miscarriage specialist or reproductive endocrinologist (search the Society for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility to find one in your area). Supportive care is very important and some studies suggest that it may even reduce incidence of pregnancy loss for couples with recurrent miscarriages.

Remember that even though your experience may feel overwhelming and unmanageable right now, odds are still in your favor that you will have a baby someday. Even after six or more losses, the majority of women do eventually go on to have a successful pregnancy. Every day that passes is closer to that day when you will have a baby and when what you are experiencing right now will be just a bad memory.
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