What causes a miscarriage?

Losing a baby through miscarriage can be devastating. But you shouldn’t lose hope – there are ways to reduce the risk of it happening again, and the majority of patients who have miscarried in the past do go on to have healthy babies.

There are many reasons why pregnancies can end in miscarriage. These include genetic or chromosome abnormalities, abnormalities of the uterus, immune causes, blood clotting disorders, hormone imbalances and other medical conditions.

Your age is also a big factor. Unfortunately, once a woman passes the age of 43 there is a 50% chance that a pregnancy will result in miscarriage.

Specialist treatment options for miscarriage

If you have had a miscarriage, testing and investigation into the cause can provide an initial idea about measures you can take to reduce the risk of it happening again. This testing is particularly useful for women who have had more than one miscarriage.

Dr Iris Wang and the IVFAustralia team of nurses provide specialist care for women who have had miscarriages, including women who are trying to have another baby after a miscarriage. You will be monitored with blood tests, ultrasounds and hormone tests, which will alert us of problems and complications. This monitoring can be very reassuring in the early stages of pregnancy.

Advanced embryo selection for recurrent miscarriage

Recurrent miscarriage is defined as three or more consecutive early pregnancy losses. It affects about 2% of women trying to have a baby. Women who have had recurrent miscarriage may benefit from IVF with advanced embryo selection.

This test is a breakthrough method of preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) that screens all chromosomes in a developing embryo, so scientists can select for transfer the embryo with the best chance of implanting and forming a healthy pregnancy. Advanced embryo selection avoids the transfer of embryos with chromosome abnormalities.

For more information about IVFAustralia’s program for miscarriage care, see the IVFAustralia website.