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Recurrent Miscarriage

When you have been trying to conceive, it is just the best feeling when you finally fall pregnant. So, we understand how truly heart breaking it is when you suffer a miscarriage. When that keeps happening and you suffer repeated miscarriage, then you need medical intervention to find out the underlying cause.

Our Scientific Director and Fertility Specialist, Dr. Mario Vega Croker was directly involved in the study and treatment of couples with recurrent pregnancy loss at the Program for Early and Recurrent Pregnancy Loss (PEARL). He completed his thesis in the effects of insulin on early gestational losses.

Dr. Vega is a passionate scientist and you are in capable hands when he starts to investigate why you are suffering recurrent pregnancy loss.

Let’s look at the reasons why recurrent miscarriage can occur

Achieving a pregnancy is a complex process and requires so many elements in both yours and your partners body to be functioning properly. The good news is, once the cause has been established then you have a very good chance of carrying a baby to term.

Age

Maternal age plays a very big part in being able to carry a baby to term. As women age so do their eggs. So, for women over 40 who choose to use their own eggs, the quality of the egg may be impaired by age, which can cause abnormalities. In consultation with your Fertility Specialist, we will advise you on the quantity and quality or your eggs prior to IVF. It may be that we suggest you consider using a donor egg from a younger woman with better quality egg health in order to achieve a successful pregnancy.

 

Genetic disorders

A chromosomal abnormality is the leading cause of miscarriage. A blood test can identify a chromosomal abnormality in either you or your partner. During your IVF procedure we can use the technology of pre-implantation genetic diagnosis to screen the DNA of embryos. This selects the best embryos with no chromosomal defects to be implanted.

 

Natural killer cells (NK)

NK cells are the body’s natural way of triggering an immune response to fight infection. However, if your level of NK cells is too high, this can trigger an immune response that fights and attacks the embryo. A blood test will indicate your NK cell level. Medication can be used to lower the immune response and used in conjunction with other medication to support the pregnancy.

 

Blood clotting

Again, the immune system comes into play here as some clotting disorders can affect the flow of blood to the placenta. This deprives the baby of oxygen and nutrients, leading to miscarriage. Treatment for this would involve blood thinners to avoid clotting.

 

Thyroid issues

It is important to have a healthy thyroid before getting pregnant. A blood test indicates your thyroid function. If you are showing a high level of antibodies, these can attack the thyroid causing it not to function properly and increase your risk of miscarriage. The thyroid hormones are responsible for insulin production. We also know that insulin resistance affects 34% of the US population and can contribute to high pregnancy loss.

 

Capable uterus

Some women have an abnormal shaped uterus, which can also lead to miscarriage. This would be diagnosed through an ultrasound and you may require surgery to correct the problem.

 

Incompetent cervix

If you are suffering pregnancy loss at a late stage in pregnancy, it may be that your cervix is weak or incompetent. An early scan around 14 weeks can determine the length of your cervix and you may require a stitch to keep your cervix closed until the baby comes to term. 

 

Sperm quality

Unlike other cells in the body, sperm cells cannot repair themselves when damaged. This is the leading cause of male infertility and many factors can lead to sperm damage. Lifestyle factors such as diet, exercise, alcohol and tobacco all have an impact on sperm health.

Sperm analysis looks at mobility, if the sperm can swim to meet the egg, morphology looks at the shape of the sperm and if the head can penetrate the egg and finally the sperm count in the sample.

But research shows the oxidative stress can cause damage to the sperm head. Oxidative stress is the imbalance of reactive oxygen species and antioxidants. The good news here is that oxidative stress levels can be reduced by eating the right food, taking supplements and removing environmental toxins. As part of our Panamama Relaxation Program sessions with a nutritionist are available.

Sperm DNA fragmentation refers to abnormal genetic material in the sperm. This is being researched a lot more now that we know this is linked to early miscarriage. Here at Panama Fertility, we are committed to investing in the latest technology to help you achieve a pregnancy and most importantly be able to carry your baby to term.

One technology we use is The Fertile Chip, which is microchip sperm selection. This allows us to remove sperm with DNA fragmentation that could be caused because of oxidative stress. By removing this sperm and only using healthy sperm we can then reduce the risk of early pregnancy loss.

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