I’ve had three miscarriages before and I’m scared of trying again – Is there anything I can do?
It is understandable given you experiences that trying to get pregnant again is a scary thought for you with many emotions attached.
Around 1 in a hundred women are like you and have experienced 3 miscarriages, of this group of women it may be possible to determine a cause for the miscarriages, but in a number it may still remain a mystery despite tests.
Following the third miscarriage it is usual for you to be offered a number of tests to see if a reason can be found, this because in some cases treatment can be offered to help to improve outcomes for subsequent pregnancies.1
A number of blood tests are usually offered, some tests are looking for antibodies (proteins in the blood that fight any substance they recognise as a foreign to your body).
Another blood test may be offered to you and your partner to check for chromosomal abnormalities, often these cause no problem to the individual concerned but they may cause a problem when passed on to a baby. If anything out of the ordinary is found genetic counselling will be offered to discuss implications for future pregnancies
Hormone levels can play a part and so progesterone levels may be checked and sometimes prolactin levels may be measured.
Treatment varies and is based on the findings of the tests; aspirin and heparin drugs that make your blood less likely to clot are recommended if certain antibodies are found as this helps to make sure the blood vessels in the placenta are less likely to become blocked.
If it is thought that the cervix is weakened and so likely to open early you may be offered a cervical stitch that acts like a drawstring on the cervix and hopefully prevents miscarriage or premature delivery for some women.
Speak to your GP and ask about tests before trying to get pregnant therefore you can begin any recommended treatment as soon as possible, either antenatally or in very early pregnancy.
Another useful organisation which offers support and up to date information is The Miscarriage Association.
1 The investigation and treatment of couples with recurrent miscarriage: Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists: Clinical Green Top Guidelines no.17, May 2003