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Do Antidepressants Lead to Miscarriages or Autism?

According to current research, certain antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) should only be prescribed for serious mental health conditions. Depression is more than simply feeling down in the dumps. It is a serious mental health issue, which involves the brain. These feelings often interfere with daily routines and can be mild to severe. canstockphoto45542488According to the World Health Organization, major depression affects 15.7 million adults in the United States, which is approximately 6.5%.

In the past 20 years, use of antidepressants has increased by 400%, and they are the most commonly used medications for people ages 18-44 years, which is the childbearing years for women. In addition, women in their late 30s and early 40s are more likely to experience infertility.

SSRI’s and Increased Risk for Miscarriage

Elevated risk for miscarriage, early delivery, infant health complications, and autism are associated with SSRIs, according to a study from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Infertility and depression are two complex conditions that often go hand in hand. Lead research Alice Domar and colleagues conducted a large review of studies involving women with depression who took SSRIs while pregnant.

Three main findings stood out in the review of studies. First, there was concerning, clear evidence that SSRI during pregnancy was associated with risk of miscarriage. Women taking these drugs have worse pregnancy outcomes. Second, there was no proof of benefit or evidence that these medications lead to better outcomes for babies and moms. Finally, the researchers concluded that patients, obstetrics physicians, and the general public should be fully aware of these research findings.

Miscarriage Risk Statistics

Overall, risks for miscarriage are:

  • A 75% increased risk associated with Paxil, a commonly prescribed SSRI.
  • A 68% increased risk women using any antidepressant compared to women who do not use antidepressants.
  • A 61% increased risk for use of any SSRI antidepressant.
  • A 19% increased risk for women with a history of depression.

SSRIs and Autism

In a new study from the University of Montreal, researchers found that women taking antidepressants in the last trimester had an 87% increased risk for delivering a child who will be later diagnosed with autism. Additionally, taking SSRIs increased the canstockphoto45750520risk of the diagnosis. Around 1 in 68 children are diagnosed with autism, according to the CDC, and this rate has continued to increase over the last three decades. Additionally, in the U.S., around 4.5% of women take an antidepressant during pregnancy.

In another study at John Hopkins University, researchers Berard and associates found that boys with autism were 3 times more likely to have been exposed to SSRIs during the pregnancy than girls. In a 2014 meta-analysis of studies, these researchers also found an increased risk for autism when children were exposed to SSRI antidepressants in utero.

Women should consult with their doctors before immediately stopping antidepressants, according to experts. Dr. King of the Seattle Children’s Autism Center emphasizes that many studies show a genetic overlap in women who have depression and children with autism. It appears that people who have a family history of depression also have an increased risk for delivering a child who will be diagnosed with autism.

King also believes these studies do not provide a definitive answer as to how or why antidepressants increase the risk for child autism. The increased risk of autism translates into one additional child born with the disorder for every 200 mothers who continue their SSRI medications during pregnancy.

Your Fertility Diet & Conceiving

                  Infertility is defined as the inability to conceive after a year of regular intercourse (at least twice a week). In the United States, 10.9% of women aged 15-44 have impaired fertility. There are many states that offer minimal or no insurance coverage for fertility treatments, this can be an expensive ordeal. Many turn to claims that supplements, complementary medicine and other measures to aid them. There have also been discussions on how diet and nutrition can aid fertility.canstockphoto45557864

                  It was found that patients who are overweight (Body Mass Index (BMI) > 35kg/m2) or underweight (BMI<19kg/m2) took a longer time to conceive compared to women who are in the normal weight range (19-35kg/m2). It is then recommended that women who are overweight or obese to lose weight and women who are underweight to gain weight to reach the normal weight range so fertility can be improved. Women with higher BMI who undergo in vitro fertilization (IVF) also have less successful pregnancy rates when compared to those in the normal range. Although obesity does not affect men and the conception rates for their partners, it was found that the rates of having a live birth (a baby that is alive at delivery) is lower compared to couples with male partners of normal BMI.

                  The optimal diet for fertility is still mostly unknown but dietary modifications have been shown to improve infertility that is caused by ovulation problems. The consumption of chicken or turkey was associated with a higher rate of infertility due to ovulatory issues while the consumption of processed meats and fish was not associated with a greater rate of infertility. The intake of foods rich in vegetable protein showed a decreased risk of ovulatory disorder but it was not significant enough to be recommended to all patients.

                  Although there is limited evidence, current data showed that a high fertility diet consists of:

  1. Avoid trans-fat: this is a type of fat that clogs arteries and threatens fertility.
  2. Greater intake of monounsaturated fat: it helps improve the body’s sensitivity to insulin and reduce inflammation, both are good for fertility. Take more vegetable oil, nuts, seeds and cold water fish such as salmon and sardines.canstockphoto45942965
  3. Turn to vegerable protein: replacing meat with plant based protein such as soybeans, tofu, beans, peas or nuts can help improve fertility.
  4. Increased consumption of high-fiber, low glycemic carbohydrates: choose slow digesting carbohydrates that are rich in fiber such as whole grains, and vegetables. This improves fertility by controlling blood sugar and insulin levels.
  5. Intake of high-fat dairy products: whole milk instead of skim milk was found to improve fertility. Choose a small dish of ice cream of full fat yoghurt every day.
  6. High non-heme iron intake which are mostly plant based: this can be obtained from whole-grain cereals, spinach, beans, pumpkin, tomatoes and beets.
  7. Taking extra folic acid: helps with nutrition for a healthy pregnancy.
  8. Hydration: water is the best for hydration. Coffee and tea can be consumed in moderation. Sugared sodas should be avoided.

References:

  • Chavarro JE, Willett WC, Skerrett PJ. Follow the fertility diet? Harvard Mental Health Letter. Harvard Health Publications. http://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/follow-fertility-diet. Accessed 2/1/2017.
  • Collins GG, Rossi BV. The impact of lifestyle modifications, diet, and vitamin supplementation on natural fertility. Fertility Research and Practice. 2015;1:11.

 

Can Exercise Help Increase Your Chances of Successful Fertility?

canstockphoto45472561

                  In most cases, when a woman is planning a pregnancy, there is a tendency to make changes in her lifestyle in hopes of conceiving, having a healthy pregnancy and a successful delivery. Lifestyle changes are often made and habits that do not benefit the pregnancy are sacrificed, such as smoking, use of recreational drugs and drinking alcohol. Some go as far as stopping the intake of caffeine. Other lifestyle changes include a better diet; eating more fruits and vegetables and having a balanced meal. These are all beneficial for the general health of the mother-to-be, but what about exercise?

                  Studies have found that moderate and regular exercise is beneficial for fertility and helps increase the pregnancy rate for those who are going through assisted reproductive technology (going through treatment for fertility or conception). Exercise was shown to reduce the risk of infertility due to ovulation (release of eggs) problems. Even for obese patients (which is a risk factor for infertility) who exercise regularly, they had better chances of pregnancy compared to those who are sedentary.

                  There is also evidence that low to moderate exercise increases the rates of implantation (process where the fertilized egg attaches to the uterus/womb to continue growing into a baby) and live birth rates (baby is alive at birth). The recommended exercise in the study is one hour of exercise three times per week.

                  Although exercise has been proven to help with fertility, high intensity exercises were found to reduce fertility (reduced implantation, reduced live birth rates) and increased pregnancy loss. Studies showed that vigorous exercise (exercising daily or to exhaustion) is associated with lower fertility rates. This is the same case with male patients. High intensity exercise was found to reduce male fertility.

                  Exercises that are found to be best for women trying to conceive are:

  1. Brisk walking: five times a week, approximately 30 minutes to 1 hourcanstockphoto45936679
  2. Yoga: 1 hour sessions, 2-3 times a week
  3. Dancing
  4. Zumba, aerobics: 2-3times a week
  5. Bicycle riding leisurely
  6. Light jogging
  7. Swimming

Exercises that should be avoided are:

  1. Core strength training such as core Pilates
  2. Exercising 7 days a week for more than 45 minute
  3. Running for many miles every day
  4. Extreme training exercises
  5. Exercises over an hour long

Evidence has shown that moderate exercise benefits fertility while high intensity and frequency exercises may reduce fertility. This should be recommended to men and women who are looking to increase chances of pregnancy. Guidelines recommend at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise on most or preferably all days. For individuals who are overweight or obese, achieving and maintaining a modest weight loss may improve fertility.

 

References:

Influenza Vaccine During Pregnancy – Is It Safe?

Influenza (also called “the flu”) is more likely to cause severe illness for healthy, pregnant women compared to those women who are healthy and not pregnant. During pregnancy, a woman’s body has changes in the heart, lungs, and immune system, which makes them more prone to severe illness with the flu.

Getting the flu while pregnant can raise the risks of pregnancy complications as well. This include premature labor, early delivery, and heart infections. Studies show that vaccinating a canstockphoto43956210pregnant women will pass the antibodies on the baby so the child will be protected from the flu for at least 6 months after the birth.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that pregnant women receive a flu shot during any trimester of pregnancy to protect themselves and the unborn child. The nasal spray used to immunize against influenza is not recommended, however.

Is it safe for pregnant women and their unborn children to get a flu shot?

The flu shot has been given safely to many pregnant women over the past few decades. Much scientific literature supports the safety of the flu vaccine in pregnant women, as well as the unborn babies. The CDC is continuing to get data regarding this topic.

What side effects do pregnant women experience with the flu shot?

The most common side effects pregnant women experience are the same as other people who receive the flu vaccine. These side effects are mild and include:

  • Fainting
  • Soreness, swelling, and redness at the site
  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Muscle aches
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea

When side effects occur, they typically begin right after the influenza shot is given, and they only last for a couple of days. It is rare for someone to have an allergic reaction to the flu shot, as healthcare professionals screen for risk factors.

Can pregnant women who have egg allergies receive the flu shot?

Most people who have an allergy to eggs should not receive the flu shot. A person with a severe allergy to any vaccine component, such as egg protein, is at risk for a life-threatening anaphylactic reaction. Pregnant women need to tell the healthcare workers about their allergies before getting immunized.canstockphoto42248234

How is the safety of flu vaccines monitored in pregnant women?

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) conducts ongoing safety monitoring on all vaccines licensed for use in the United States. The CDC and FDA use two systems to monitor the influenza vaccine safety for women during pregnancy. These include:

  • Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) – This is an early warning system that monitors for problems during vaccination. Anyone can report vaccine side effects, and health concerns that arise after vaccination. These reports also help indicate if further investigations are necessary.
  • Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD) – This is a collaboration between many health organizations that uses ongoing monitoring approaches and searchers of vaccine data.

Have studies been conducted by the CDC regarding flu vaccine safety during pregnancy?

Many studies were conducted by the CDC and partner organizations. A review of VAERS in 2011 found no link between pregnancy complication or fetal outcomes among women who received a flu shot while pregnant. In addition, a study involving VSD in 2013 found no increased adverse obstetric events for these women, which included pre-eclampsia, chorioamnionitis, and gestational hypertension.

Can a breastfeeding woman get the flu shot?

Breastfeeding women are encouraged to get the flu vaccine, according to the CDC. If the mother gets influenza, it could pass on to her newborn infant, which puts the baby at great risk.

Pacific Reproductive Center offers top fertility treatment at several locations in Southern California including Torrance, Glendale, Corona and Irvine. Treatment success has been shown to be well above the national average. Call us today!

How the Environment can Affect Fertility

                  There are many factors that are believed to affect fertility such as stress, exercise, diet, and weight. What about the environment? It is believed that environmental contaminants may cause infertility by affecting a woman’s menstruation and ovulation (release of eggs). Other factors such as age, stress, poor diet, nutrition, behavior, medication, sports, weight, smoking, alcohol and other problems can contribute to infertility. A man’s sperm can be affected by alcohol, drugs, alcohol, canstockphoto43933925environment, tobacco, medication, radiation or chemotherapy used for cancer treatment.

                  Studies have shown that although the advancement of technology has made lie easier and much more convenient, the chemicals used may have been robbing us slowly of our fertility.  This is especially true for those whose jobs revolve around industrial strength chemicals. There is now increasing evidence that long term low level exposure to chemical substances may produce fertility hazards such as sperm abnormalities, decreased sperm count and repeated miscarriages.

                  The most astounding finding is that these effects begin as early as in the womb, thus explaining the reason why the growing population has increasing fertility problems especially couples in their 20s.

                  The most worrying problem is that some of these chemicals are classified as hormone-disrupters, they mimic, block or upset the usual pattern of hormones in the body. Some of these chemicals can masquerade as natural estrogens leading to a high impact and risk for conception, fetal development, maternal and paternal health. Although there are several chemicals that are yet to be confirmed to affect fertility, these are 4 that are regulated on their base on their infringements to conception.

  1. Lead: exposure to lead can have a negative impact on human fertility, it can cause teratospermias (abnormal sperm) and is thought to be a substance that can cause artificial abortion.
  2. Medical treatment and materials: repeated exposure to radiation from medical equipment such as x-rays or chemotherapy canstockphoto44459633(used for treatment of cancer) has been shown to affect the reproductive organs such as contributing to sperm and ovarian problems.
  3. Ethylene Oxide: is a chemical used to sterilize surgical instruments and manufacture pesticides. It has the potential to cause early miscarriages n cause birth defects.
  4. Dibromochloropropane: this is found in pesticides and may cause ovarian problems such as an early menopause or directly affect infertility.

Although humans are exposed to low doses of biologically active chemicals constantly. They are harmless on their own until it interacts with other chemicals to interfere with conception and fertility. Here are steps on how to reduce exposure to chemicals in the environment:

  1. Quit smoking and avoid those who smoke to reduce the effects of second-hand smoke
  2. Contact water authority regarding what is in drinking water. If necessary, filter through the water.
  3. Reduce fish consumption that are high in mercury. Choose contaminant free fish.
  4. If possible buy organic food, reduce use of pesticides and herbicides on lawn.
  5. Look at labels and avoid candy and supplements that contain lead.

 

References:

What is Ovulation Induction? Info from a Los Angeles Fertility Center

                  Ovulation induction is the process to stimulate ovulation (production and release of eggs from a woman) by medication. This is used for women who have difficulty conceiving as their ovaries do not release eggs. Medications can be used to either cause ovulation in a patient who does not ovulate regularly or to cause multiple eggs to be developed and Ovulation Induction Los Angelesreleased. There is approximately 25% of infertile women who have problems with ovulation. By helping these women to ovulate regularly, it increases their chances of pregnancy. These medications are called “fertility drugs” and may also improve the endometrium (lining of the womb or uterus) which is required for pregnancy.

                  Ovulation induction can help women who have irregular periods as they are likely to have ovulatory dysfunction by helping them to have regular ovulation. Some ovulation problems include: polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) – a hormonal condition which causes the eggs to not be released, ovaries that do not respond to hormones that help the maturation and release of the egg (luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH)), thyroid problems, eating disorders, extreme weight gain and weight loss.

                  Before fertility drugs are given to patients, doctors often use a hysterosalpingogram (HSG) to make sure that the fallopian tubes (tubes for the fertilized egg to travel into the womb for implantation) are unblocked. Patients who have a blocked tube may have an ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy that occurs outside of the uterus) and can be dangerous. Many women are suitable candidates for ovulation induction. Women who have ovulation issues and those with unexplained infertility can be treated to increase the number of eggs released. A possible complication that may occur is Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS).

Some of the commonly used fertility drugs includes:

  1. Clomiphene Citrate: this medication is commonly used to stimulate the maturation and release of eggs. The standard dose is 50-100 milligrams (mg) every day for 5 consecutive days. Treatment starts usually on the second to fifth day after menstruation begins. Chances of success depends on the age of the patient, health condition and quality of the semen. Theclomiphene chance of twins is 6-10% and chance of triplets is 1% or less.
  2. Aromatase inhibitors: Used to temporarily decrease estrogen levels in the body which leads to the body producing more follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). FSH is used to help in the production and maturation of eggs. Drugs in this class include letrozole and anastrozole. Studies show that pregnancy rates are similar to Clomiphene Citrate.
  3. Other drugs that can be used are insulin sensitizing drugs – Metformin, gonadotropins, human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), bromocriptine or cabergoline, gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) and GnRH Analogs.

Long term studies have not found any association of increased birth defects with clomiphene citrate and gonadotropins. There is also no evidence associating an increased ovarian risk with clomiphene citrate, gonadotropins or aromatase inhibitors.

Pacific Reproductive Center offers expertise with helping women reach their fertility goals. This includes ovulation induction and additional treatments that have been shown to work well. PRC has fertility clinics in Los Angeles metro including Torrance, Glendale, Corona and Irvine. Call today!

 

References:

How Acupuncture Helps Fertility in Los Angeles

                  Acupuncture is a treatment that is used in traditional Chinese medicine. It is an ancient treatment method that relies on painless and strategic placement of tiny needles onto the body. It is used to stimulate specific points that is believed to help regulate physical, mental, emotional and spiritual balance. In simpler terms, it regulates the way the body functions. There are Acupuncture4over 2,000 points in the body, connected by 14 major pathways, called meridians. Chinese medicine practitioners believe that these points are energy points and if disrupted, can cause pain and disease. Acupuncture is used to keep the flow unblocked, thereby increasing the chances of conceiving.

                  It has been reported that when used in combination with modern medicine, it increased conception rates by 26%. Acupuncture can increase fertility rates by addressing underlying problems that may affect fertility. This includes thyroid problems (hypothyroid – low functioning or hyperthyroid – over functioning). It can also help by reducing stress, increasing blood flow to the reproductive system and balancing hormones. By increasing blood flow to the reproductive system (ovaries and uterus), it is believed that it helps create a better chance for the ova (egg) to be nourished and carried to term. This treatment method not only aims to help conceive, but also maintain the pregnancy and having a healthy baby.

                  Although acupuncture has been proven to help fertility, there are some causes of infertility that cannot be treated with acupuncture. This includes tubal adhesions that blocks the tube and can be due to pelvic inflammatory disease. Structural defects such as a blocked fallopian tube due to a fibroid (a benign tumor) is also another condition that cannot be treated by acupuncture. However, individuals with these conditions may still benefit from acupuncture as it improves ovarian and follicular function.

                  Studies have also found that acupuncture helps to stimulate egg production in women who opt to not use fertility medication to help them conceive. It is also reported to be comparable to modern medication that helps with egg producing acupuncturesuch as Clomid. Although comparable to Clomid, acupuncture cannot be sued to substitute fertility drugs used in In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) as it generally stimulates the growth and release of one egg while fertility drugs in IVF is used to produce multiple eggs.

                  Acupuncture treatments are recommended as two sessions, 30 minutes per session every week. Treatment can take several months before the effects can be seen.  Compared to fertility drugs that have side effects such as abdominal tenderness, bloating, water retention, weight gain and nausea, acupuncture infertility treatment was found to have no side effects but having the same function fertility drugs do.

                  There are some minor risks in using acupuncture for fertility treatment. If incorrect acupuncture points are used during pregnancy, it may increase the risk of a miscarriage. Patients should choose to be treated only by an acupuncturist who specializes in treating fertility disorders. It is generally safe regardless of the patient’s past medical history.

Pacific Reproductive Center offers top fertility treatment at four locations in Southern California including Torrance, Glendale, Corona and Irvine CA. For the top Los Angeles fertility treatment, call us today!

References:

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Can Exercise Help Fertility?

                  In most cases, when a woman is planning a pregnancy, there is a tendency to make changes in her lifestyle in hopes of conceiving, having a healthy pregnancy and a successful delivery. Lifestyle changes are often made and habits that do not benefit the pregnancy are sacrificed, such as canstockphoto43933925smoking, use of recreational drugs and drinking alcohol. Some go as far as stopping the intake of caffeine. Other lifestyle changes include a better diet; eating more fruits and vegetables and having a balanced meal. These are all beneficial for the general health of the mother-to-be, but what about exercise?

                  Studies have found that moderate and regular exercise is beneficial for fertility and helps increase the pregnancy rate for those who are going through assisted reproductive technology (going through treatment for fertility or conception). Exercise was shown to reduce the risk of infertility due to ovulation (release of eggs) problems. Even for obese patients (which is a risk factor for infertility) who exercise regularly, they had better chances of pregnancy compared to those who are sedentary.

                  There is also evidence that low to moderate exercise increases the rates of implantation (process where the fertilized egg attaches to the uterus/womb to continue growing into a baby) and live birth rates (baby is alive at birth). The recommended exercise in the study is one hour of exercise three times per week.

                  Although exercise has been proven to help with fertility, high intensity exercises were found to reduce fertility (reduced implantation, reduced live birth rates) and increased pregnancy loss. Studies showed that vigorous exercise (exercising daily or to exhaustion) is associated with lower fertility rates. This is the same case with male patients. High intensity exercise was found to reduce male fertility.

                  Exercise that are found to be best for women trying to conceive are:

  1. Brisk walking: five times a week, approximately 30 minutes to 1 hour
  2. Yoga: 1 hour sessions, 2-3 times a week
  3. Dancing
  4. Zumba, aerobics: 2-3times a week
  5. Bicycle riding leisurely
  6. Light jogging
  7. Swimming

canstockphoto43905496

Exercises that should be avoided are:

  1. Core strength training such as core Pilates
  2. Exercising 7 days a week for more than 45 minute
  3. Running for many miles every day
  4. Extreme training exercises
  5. Exercises over an hour long

Evidence has shown that moderate exercise benefits fertility while high intensity and frequency exercises may reduce fertility. This should be recommended to men and women who are looking to increase chances of pregnancy. Guidelines recommend at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise on most or preferably all days. For individuals who are overweight or obese, achieving and maintaining a modest weight loss may improve fertility.

Along with exercise, having a full workup and treatment with the best Los Angeles fertility doctors at Pacific Reproductive Center will help. Dr. Rifaat Salem has been helping women achieve their fertility goals for over 20 years! Call us today to get the best treatment at any of our 4 locations in Torrance, Glendale, Corona and Irvine CA.

References:

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome Basics for a Fertility Doctor

                  Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a common disorder for females in the reproductive age. It can cause irregular menstruation and make it difficult for women to get pregnant. The cause of this disorder is unknown but it can be described as a genetic disorder. It can be commonly detected pelvic painusing ultrasound or other forms of pelvic imaging. There is approximately 20-33% of the population that is affected.

                  However, not all women with PCOS have the same clinical and biochemical features such as menstrual cycle disturbances, obesity, hirsutism, acne and abnormalities of biochemical profiles. The presentation of patients can be so different that one or any of the combinations may be present in association with an ultrasound picture of polycystic ovaries.

                  PCOS is familial and can exist without clinical signs. Most women have small cysts in their ovaries which are not released. With the multiple cysts over time, this disorder is hence called polycystic ovarian disease. The cysts are not harmful but many lead to hormone imbalances.

                  In PCOS, more androgens (male hormones) are made causing problem with ovulation, acne, and the growth of extra facial and body hair. Symptoms may be mild at first but most patients present with acne, weight gain, difficulty losing weight, extra hair on the face and body, thinning head hair, irregular periods, fertility problems and depression.

                  PCOS is diagnosed by asking the patient her history of past health, symptoms and menstrual cycles. A physical exam is conducted to look for signs of PCOS such as extra body hair and canstockphoto43917829possibly high blood pressure. A series of lab tests is also done to check blood sugar, insulin and other hormone levels. This can help to rule out other hormonal problems such as thyroid problems. A pelvic ultrasound is also used to look for cysts in the ovaries.

                  PCOS can be managed using a healthy lifestyle management such as encouraging regular exercise, having a healthy diet and controlling weight. These three steps are the key management for PCOS patients. Bad habits such as smoking should also be avoided. Doctors may prescribe birth control pills to reduce symptoms and metformin to help regulate menstrual cycles. If the patient is looking to conceive, fertility medication can also be prescribed. PCOS patients often report of feeling depressed and they are encouraged to participate in a support group.

                  PCOS is one of the commonest endocrine (hormonal) problems and women with PCOS are characterized by insulin resistance, central obesity, and dyslipidemia which appears to increase their risk of diabetes and heart disease. Patients should realize the importance of diet, activity, reduction of stress, behavior modification, social support from family and friends and ultimately, smoking cessation.

Pacific Reproductive Center offers top treatment for PCOS and helps people reach their fertility goals time and time again. Dr. Rifaat Salem is an exceptional fertility doctor with over twenty years experience. Call us today for top treatment!

 

References:

Recurrent Pregnancy Loss Basics

Pregnancy loss is quite common. The majority of these losses occur before 10 weeks of gestation (pregnancy) due to chromosome errors such as trisomy (3 chromosomes instead of the normal 2 chromosomes), etcetera. Recurrent pregnancy loss however is something which is entirely different and is a condition that has resulted in two or more failed pregnancies. Fertility Center Corona CA

It is estimated that less than 5% of women will have 2 consecutive miscarriages and only 1% will have 3 or more consecutive miscarriages. A pregnancy loss is defined as a pregnancy that has been visualized on ultrasound before the pregnancy involuntarily ends before the 20th week. It is also recognized if pregnancy tissue was identified after pregnancy loss.

Why Does It Occur?

 

About 12-15% of all clinically recognized pregnancies end in miscarriage. But 30-60% of conceptions will end within the first trimester (12weeks). Studies have been done on recurrent pregnancy loss, studying factors that are related to it such as genetics, age, antiphospholipid syndrome (a disorder where the immune system mistakenly attacks normal proteins in the blood), uterine abnormalities, hormonal disorders, infection and lifestyle issues.

Advancing maternal age increases the risk of a miscarriage, this is thought to be due to poor egg quality which may result in genetic (chromosomal) anomalies. There may be abnormalities in the uterus that lead to miscarriage, such as irregularly shaped uterus, presence of fibroids (benign tumor).

Miscarriage may also be due to poor blood supple to the pregnancy or inflammation. Other factors such as the woman’s immune system, hormone abnormalities such as thyroid disease and diabetes may also contribute to pregnancy loss. Other factors that were found to be associate with recurrent pregnancy loss are smoking, obesity, use of drugs such as cocaine, alcohol consumption (3-5 drinks a week) and increased caffeine (>3 cups of coffee) have been associated with an increased risk of miscarriage.

Determining the Cause

 

canstockphoto27582301The doctor will try to determine the cause of recurrent pregnancy loss by taking a detailed medical, surgical, family and genetic history from the patient. A physical examination of the patient is also done. Other relevant lab tests will also be done to try to determine the cause of the recurrent pregnancy loss.

In patients where a genetic abnormality is found, patients are referred to genetic counseling. In uterine abnormalities, surgery may be performed to correct the defect. Other issues such as antiphospholipid syndrome, thyroid disease and diabetes, medications can be prescribed.

In 50-75% of recurrent pregnancy loss, there is no apparent causative factor. Although the diagnosis of recurrent pregnancy loss is devastating, it can be helpful to remind the patient that there is a relatively high likelihood that the next pregnancy will be successful. Prognosis depends on underlying cause of pregnancy losses and number of previous losses.

What’s the Prognosis?

 

Overall the prognosis for recurrent prognosis loss is encouraging as even with the diagnosis of recurrent pregnancy loss, the patient is more likely to carry her next pregnancy to term rather than have another loss.

 

Pacific Reproductive Center has been a leader in fertility treatment for over twenty years! We have 4 locations in Southern California. Call us today to get started!

 

References:

  • Recurrent pregnancy loss. UCLA Obstetrics and Gynecology. UCLA Health. http://obgyn.ucla.edu/recurrent-pregnancy-loss. Accessed 2/5/2017.
  • Evaluation and treatment of recurrent pregnancy loss: a committee opinion American Society for Reproductive Medicine. 2012; 98(5):1103-1111.