Can You Lower Your Risk for a Miscarriage?

Can You Lower Your Risk for a Miscarriage?

A miscarriage is a devastating experience. All of the hopes you had for your pregnancy, and for your baby, are gone. You may feel helpless. You may even feel guilty (although you shouldn’t). More than anything, you never want to go through the disappointment and grief of a miscarriage again. 

In 60% of cases, a miscarriage is caused by chromosomal abnormalities in the fetus. You can’t prevent chromosomal abnormalities. Nor could you have done anything different in your pregnancy to affect the outcome.

Although a miscarriage is not your fault, you can undergo tests and make lifestyle changes that may lower your risk for future miscarriages. If you’re ready to try again, our expert OB/GYNs Daniel McDyer, MD, FACOG, and Julian Stephen Suhrer, MD, at Florida Woman Care of Jacksonville are committed to helping you achieve a healthy pregnancy.

Following are a few conditions that may raise your risk of miscarriage. Most can be treated with medications or even simple lifestyle changes that improve your health and increase the odds of a healthy pregnancy.

Structural abnormalities

You may have problems in the way that your uterus or cervix is shaped that make it difficult for you to carry a baby to term. One of the easiest problems to fix is a weak cervix. The cervix is the opening to your uterus. We close the cervix with a simple procedure until you’re ready to give birth.

Although uterine fibroids don’t usually cause miscarriage, if they’re large enough, they may increase your odds. We remove large fibroids with a procedure called a myomectomy.

Medical conditions

If you’ve had at least one miscarriage and want to avoid another, we run a series of tests to find out if you have a medical condition that may make it hard for you to stay pregnant. Following are some of the most common:

PCOS

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common hormonal imbalance that raises your risk of miscarriage. If you have PCOS, you’re more likely to have diabetes or obesity, both of which can trigger a miscarriage. We may prescribe metformin to control your blood glucose levels.

APS

Antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) causes your body to attack its own cells and may lead to blood clots and other complications that result in miscarriage. With treatment, more than 80% of women with APS have healthy live births.

Thrombophilia

Thrombophilia makes your blood clot abnormally, which raises your risk for miscarriages. We treat thrombophilia with aspirin and heparin to dramatically increase your chance of a healthy pregnancy.

Diabetes

High blood sugar may interfere with your ability to carry a child to term. Many women also develop a particular type of diabetes during pregnancy, called gestational diabetes, that could raise the risk of miscarriage. We may prescribe lifestyle changes and medications.

Lifestyle issues

Ideally, your own body is healthy enough to nourish a new life. If you’re extremely underweight or overweight, you may not be able to carry a baby to term. By focusing on a nutrition-rich diet and invigorating exercise, we help you achieve a healthy weight and healthy body.

Habits that impair your own health can also impair fetal growth. We help you eliminate toxins from your life, including cigarettes, alcohol, and recreational drugs. Even excessive stress or exposure to environmental pollutants could interfere with a healthy pregnancy.

Chromosomal abnormalities in parents

Older women are more likely to miscarry than younger women are. One reason is that, as you age, you may develop a condition called chromosome translocation, which increases the risk for chromosomal abnormalities in your child. 

We may recommend testing for chromosome translocation or other abnormalities in both you and your partner. If one or both of you is positive, you may choose to work with a fertility clinic and try in vitro fertilization, which only implants healthy embryos that are free from chromosomal defects.

Give yourself the best chance of a healthy pregnancy by making sure that you and your partner are healthy, too. Contact our team today for tests and treatments that reduce your risk for miscarriage. Call one of our two Jacksonville, Florida, locations nearest you, or use our online scheduler.

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