Recurrent pregnancy loss is represented by repeated miscarriages and affects 5% of women of childbearing age, being one of the causes of infertility. The reasons behind these repeated miscarriages can vary widely but 50% of the recurrent pregnancy losses are linked to genetic abnormalities.
Doctors classify repeated miscarriages as the loss of three or more consecutive pregnancies if they occurred before the 20th week and if the fetuses weighed less than 500 grams.
However, there is no clear consensus on the definition of this condition and some experts point out that pregnancy losses would not have to be consecutive to speak of repeat miscarriages.
However, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine consider that two or more consecutive failed pregnancies would be enough to talk about recurrent pregnancy loss condition.
Miscarriages are an emotional blow to the women but, in the case of repeated miscarriages, the pain increases even more, as hopes and dreams are renewed again and again with each new pregnancy, while sadness, anger, and fear install more and more with each new abortion.
Recurrent pregnancy loss is linked to genetic abnormalities
In about 40% – 50% of the cases, doctors can’t find a specific cause for repeated miscarriages but, in other cases, there is a cause and, according to the studies, the genetic and chromosomal abnormalities are responsible for 50% of the recurrent pregnancy losses.
Regarding genetic abnormalities, the mothers’ age is usually the most common triggering factor. Thus, the older the mother is, the worse the quantity and quality of her oocytes will be.
Chromosomal alterations in any of the parents or significant alterations in the quality of the male sperm can also trigger genetic mutations in the fetuses which might result in recurrent pregnancy loss if nothing changes over the time.
Recurrent miscarriages caused by genetic causes usually occur early, at around eight weeks of pregnancy.
If medical tests reveal that the recurrent pregnancy loss was caused by genetic abnormalities, experts advise parents to opt for fertility techniques or even for taking eggs or sperm from donors.