I never thought I’d see ‘miscarriage’ and ‘good news’ in the one sentence, or even for that matter on the same page, but even the most unlikely couplings can occur. And what, in this instance, brings these strange bedfellows together?
Firstly miscarriages, treated by much of the medical profession and most of the well-meaning-no-idea-relative-and-friend-society as being due to some unfathomable deep dark force that you can’t argue with, are actually due in most cases to something both identifiable and treatable.
Obviously a first miscarriage is unforeseeable and therefore in theory unavoidable yet it can be the cue to get checked out before another occurs.
The medical profession, however, have other ideas. They like you to experience three consecutively before springing or at times limping into action. Then they officially label it as ‘recurrent miscarriage’ which opens the door to all sorts of tests although often you need to ask for the key.
Unfortunately at this point you’re so stressed and stricken with grief you aren’t feeling very assertive so unless you have a pro-active doctor you still may not have any answers.
See, there are many factors which have been identified as causing or contributing to miscarriage and these include diabetes, high blood pressure, polycystic ovary syndrome, fibroids and thyroid abnormalities. As well there are chromosomal abnormalities, blood-clotting disorder and weak cervix.
And here’s the thing, the good news as it were – except for the chromosomal abnormalities they all are easily treatable. Even the non-treatable chromosomal abnormalities have their jaunty side. As the cause of 50% of miscarriages they are usually random and therefore one-off unlike miscarriages that have an underlying medical cause.
So the idea is, get thoroughly checked out for all possible causes after a miscarriage although some doctors, like Mary Stephenson, MD, a professor of obstetrics and gynaecology and director of recurrent-pregnancy-loss program at University of Chicago
Medical Centre says when planning to get pregnant you should get checked out. Sensible woman, I say.
Having talked my doctor into getting every test in the solar system done after my second miscarriage, which showed up my thyroid condition, I wish I’d had those tests done first. Then again it’s probably not practical to have every woman of fertile age lined up at pathology clinics and letting enough blood to keep Count Dracula comfortable in retirement.
So how, short of pleading with your GP, can you be tested for miscarriage-causing conditions? According to Stephenson a specialized recurrent-pregnancy-loss clinic will be able to identify and test for underlying problems which can manifest themselves in someone who is outwardly healthy.
Once picked up, it is a matter of treating them, usually with a course of medication. Hence for women who have experienced the devastation of recurrent miscarriage there is plenty of hope that they can conquer it and win. In the gloom and doom surrounding pregnancy loss this can only be good news.