A miscarriage can be a devastating experience. The joy of pregnancy and the dreams of raising a child can be suddenly replaced by
pelvic pain, vaginal bleeding, and enormous despair.
About 20% of all human pregnancies are lost to miscarriage and this rate of loss does not change following a single miscarriage.
If a couple suffers two consecutive pregnancy losses, then there is roughly a 35% chance that the next pregnancy will result in
miscarriage. If a couple suffers three consecutive losses, then there is a 45-50% chance of miscarriage with the next pregnancy.
In this miscarriage tutorial, Dr. Eric Daiter reviews several different issues of significance with respect to
miscarriage, including factors that increase the risk for a miscarriage and possible treatments to reduce these risks.
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for additional information.
The grieving process that a couple goes through after they have a miscarriage is not well understood. Dr. Daiter
presents some of the common psychological theories on grieving and cites literature that may be useful.
The incidence rate of miscarriage is uncertain since (1) many losses occur without any help from a physician and (2)
physicians do not report pregnancy losses that they are aware of to any central agency. Dr. Daiter reviews the current understanding
of pregnancy loss rates.
Causes of Miscarriages
The causes of miscarriage can be categorized into two major groups: fetal causes (related to the embryo or baby) and
maternal causes (related to the mother). A chromosomal problem with the fetus' genetic material (DNA) is the single most common cause
for a pregnancy loss. Dr. Daiter provides an extensive review of the known causes of miscarriages and treatments that
might be useful for these conditions.
The clinical evaluation for recurrent pregnancy loss is highly controversial and there are many "experimental" tests
that are also available. Dr. Eric Daiter presents and discusses the clinically relevant tests that are available.