Recurrent pregnancy losses

If you've had three or more pregnancy losses, you may wish to see a doctor with expertise in this area. Most ob-gyns can address this issue, or they may refer you to a maternal-fetal specialist or a reproductive endocrinologist. Your health care provider can help you find the appropriate person.

Because recurrent pregnancy loss has various causes, you may go through several tests and evaluations. In addition, your health care provider may recommend that you see a geneticist or genetic counselor to look for potential chromosomal problems. However, even with additional testing, you may not have an explanation about why the pregnancy losses have occurred.

If a cause is found, there may or may not be a treatment for it. For example, a weak (incompetent) cervix can be temporarily held closed during the first and middle stages of pregnancy to prevent it from opening before the baby is ready to be born. But if the cause is a chromosomal problem, there may not be a treatment.

Tips for future pregnancies

Although it's very unlikely that you can prevent a pregnancy loss, you can do things to give yourself the best chance for a healthy pregnancy. Here are some tips to consider:

• Eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly.

• Gt your daily dose of folic acid, either in a supplement or multivitamin.

• Gt preconception and prenatal care.

• Don't smoke, drink alcohol or use illicit drugs while you are trying to conceive or are pregnant.

• Gt checked and, if necessary, treated for sexually transmitted diseases.

• Lnit caffeine consumption.

• Work with your health care provider. Together you can keep yourself and your baby as healthy as possible.

The good news is, even women who have had three losses have a 75 percent chance of going on to have a successful pregnancy.

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