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Getting pregnant is not easy for all women. While some women may get pregnant naturally without any complications, it may not be possible for others. They may require medical assistance such as IVF to get pregnant. However, IVF or in vitro fertilisation can carry more risk of a miscarriage in comparison to a miscarriage that may happen in a natural pregnancy. If you’ve opted for IVF treatment to get pregnant, read this article to know what can cause miscarriage after an IVF and how to lower the chances of it.
What Are the Causes of a Miscarriage After an IVF?
Here are some possible causes of miscarriage in women who undergo IVF:
1. Underlying Medical Condition
Women who opt for IVF treatment may have some underlying medical condition which makes them prone to a miscarriage.
2. Age Factor
It is observed that women who consider getting an IVF tend to be older in comparison to women who conceive naturally. Older women are more likely to have a miscarriage; women between 35 to 45 years of age have 20 to 35 per cent chances of a miscarriage and this increases to 50 per cent in women who have crossed 45 years of age.
3. Higher Ovarian Stimulation
As per a study, women who undergo higher ovarian stimulation while undergoing various reproductive procedures are more prone to a miscarriage.
Unhealthy habits such as smoking, drinking alcohol, and excessive caffeine consumption is known to increase the risk of a miscarriage.
5. Natural Killer Cells
Natural killer cells are present in our body to fight various kinds of infections. There is a theory that states that these cells in the uterine lining may cause harm to your foetus and may even lead to miscarriage.
Symptoms of Miscarriage After an IVF
The symptoms of miscarriage after an IVF are the same as the signs a woman would show while undergoing a miscarriage naturally. Knowledge about the signs and symptoms can help expectant mothers seek immediate medical attention.
- Abdominal Pain
- Back Pain
- Progressive bleeding
Ways to Lower the Risk of a Miscarriage After an IVF
Here are some ways that may help you lower the risk of miscarriage after an IVF:
1. Take Progesterone in Right Amounts
You will require a regular dosage of progesterone to support your pregnancy, which is available in the forms of pills, gels, injections, or pessaries. However, it is observed that taking progesterone vaginally may not only get absorbed better, but it may also prevent nausea, which is usually triggered by other methods and thus reduce your chances of miscarriage. So speak to your doctor about the dosage of progesterone.
2. Get Your TSH Levels Checked
Some studies have shown a relation between abnormal levels of TSH in the blood and miscarriage and other problems related to conception. So, make sure you get your TSH levels checked before you opt for an IVF.
3. Get a Hysteroscopy Done
Before you opt for an IVF, it is advised that you get a hysteroscopy done. This is because various uterine problems may affect your chances of conception. Thus, getting a hysteroscopy reduces the risk of a miscarriage and improves the chances of conception.
4. Get a Thorough Blood Check-up Done
It is important that you get blood tests done to check for any blood disorders. Blood disorders such as clotting and thick blood may hamper proper blood circulation to the foetus and may increase the chances of a miscarriage. Proper medication may help you deal with various blood-related ailments.
5. Pay Heed to Your Lifestyle
It is suggested that you take care of your lifestyle before you plan for an IVF treatment. Losing weight if you are overweight, refraining from smoking and drinking, and avoiding non-prescribed medication will help in reducing your chances of miscarriage after the procedure.
6. Take Your Medicines Regularly
It is very important that you take your medicines after the IVF religiously and do not miss even a single dose. In some cases, missing even a single dose may cause a miscarriage. Get clear indications from your doctor about the administration of various medicines and their proper interval.
7. Stay Away From Infections
Infections such as STDs, Toxoplasmosis, Listeria and other such infections may increase the chances of a miscarriage. Taking an MMR shot may help you fight with various infections. Talk to your doctor if you have not taken an MMR shot.
8. Take Care of Your Cervix
Sometimes the fertility treatments may take a toll on your cervix and thus make it more prone to opening up during an early pregnancy, which may result in a miscarriage. A cervical stitch may help in reducing your chances of miscarriage. You can talk to your doctor about getting a cervical stitch and if you had experienced any other cervical complications in the past, bring it to your doctor’s notice.
9. If You Are Above 42 Years of Age, Go for Donor Eggs
You may feel discouraged to use a donor egg to get pregnant but if you want to get pregnant and are older, then you may have to use donor eggs. If you are 42 or above, the rate of miscarriage is high up to 50 per cent, the live birth rate with your own egg may only be 10-15 per cent, and your baby may be at high risk of having chromosomal abnormalities. A donor egg takes care of all these three problems.
Getting Pregnant After a Miscarriage That Follows an IVF
A miscarriage after an IVF can be traumatising for a woman. It is not only physically draining for her, but it may affect her emotionally, too. However, there is always the next attempt. Therefore, as soon as you recover from your previous experience, physically as well as emotionally, you can try again.
IVF is a great way to get pregnant for mothers who otherwise cannot conceive. Talk to your doctor in detail about the process and prepare for the procedure accordingly.
Also Read: Important Tips for IVF Success