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Recurrent Pregnancy Loss: Expert Answers All FAQs On The Causes And Treatment Options

Times Now logo Times Now 14-05-2023 Times Now Digital
recurrent pregnancy loss: expert answers all faqs on the causes and treatment options © Provided by Times Now recurrent pregnancy loss: expert answers all faqs on the causes and treatment options

A positive pregnancy test for couples or women trying to conceive is a time for much joy and celebration. Even as the anticipation of the impending arrival of a new member of the family builds, there’s trepidation about whether the months ahead will go smoothly. Miscarriages are a very real concern, and the feelings of loss can be much like those when a parent loses a child. For some couples, this is an experience they have to cope with not once but multiple times with repeated pregnancy losses.

Here’s a look at what causes Recurrent Pregnancy Loss (RPL) and how getting a right diagnosis through checks and cytogenetic tests could help women who have experienced this hurdle on their path to motherhood.

What is Recurrent Pregnancy Loss (RPL)?

Having two or more failed clinical pregnancies (as confirmed by ultrasound or a pregnancy test) back-to-back is counted as RPL

While the pooled risk of early pregnancy loss (before 20 weeks of gestational age) - also dubbed a miscarriage is 15.3%. RPL numbers are not this high. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists pegs the RPL numbers in the US at 5% for women suffering two or more consecutive losses and 1% for those experiencing three or more.

That said, each additional pregnancy loss adds to the trauma for the woman and her family with feelings of guilt, loss, and anxiety building - all of which only make the subsequent attempts more difficult on the couple mentally and emotionally.

The Causes of RPL

Those experiencing Recurrent Pregnancy Loss are often advised to undergo check-ups to determine the cause for this pattern so that underlying problems can be managed before getting pregnant again.

Treatment options for RPL

While the causes of recurrent pregnancy loss were not clearly understood, modern medicine is catching up. Getting an accurate diagnosis is now possible for 50 to 60% of all couples coping with RPL.

The course of treatment depends on the underlying cause of RPL in each case. Typically, your gynaecologist as well as a high-risk pregnancy specialist will be involved. A pathologist and the services of a genetics specialist may be called upon depending on suspected reasons for the problem.

Once diagnosed, couples may be recommended several solutions to help them achieve a successful pregnancy. These range from lifestyle changes, managing endocrine issues, and treating uterine problems that may have interfered with the pregnancy, to In Vitro Fertilization in cases where genetic abnormalities exist or risk of inheritance of certain conditions (that may increase the risk of pregnancy failure) is high.

While it may seem daunting, the numbers offer hope. Chances for successful pregnancies are higher than you’d think - 77% for those whose checks show no abnormalities and 71% for those who did detect a problem. All it takes is an accurate diagnosis and a good medical team by your side. While the beginning of this journey to parenthood may seem difficult, it is well worth the effort, and perseverance will pay off.

(The article is authored by Dr Mokshadayini S., Consultant, MedGenome Labs)

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