Miscarriage is a term used to define the loss of a pregnancy within 20 weeks of conception and most often it will occur in the first trimester. Statistically, 25% of all pregnancies will end in miscarriage due to maternal age and health, genetic defects and other organic reasons. Generally, a first trimester miscarriage can happen due to the following reasons:
- Fetus not developing properly
- The placenta does not attach to the uterine wall properly
- Blighted ovum
- Uterine infection
- Low female hormone levels
- Medications that may have been taken by the mother (more rare)
- Structural problems in the uterus
- Immune system dysfunction
- Fibroid tumors
The risk of miscarriage after IVF will depend largely upon the age of the mother, with an increased age there is a higher rate of miscarriage. Researchers believe however that the rate of miscarriage after IVF may be lower due to the selection process involved. If a pregnancy is nonviable, there is no way to prevent a miscarriage, however a threatened miscarriage in the first trimester may be able to be treated and stopped through medical attention. There are signs of miscarriage which every woman should be aware of, which can include, bleeding, abdominal cramping, and a diminishment of pregnancy symptoms. Some women will have an indication of a possible miscarriage and others will not even know it is happening.
For a couple that has been trying to conceive for a long time, a miscarriage can be a heartbreaking experience to go through. For a couple that uses IVF when trying to conceive, the odds of miscarriage may be slightly lower due to having an embryologist pick out the healthiest eggs for fertilization. However, with the advancement of maternal age, the rates of miscarriage will become exponentially higher. Rates of miscarriage after IVF will depend upon many different factors, but if a woman is experiencing symptoms of a threatened miscarriage the best thing to do is seek immediate medical attention. The journey to parenthood is unique for each individual couple, for some it will happen naturally and for some that will require assisted reproduction. With IVF, a couple has an increased chance of conceiving and with any lucky will be able to welcome a baby into their family fairly soon.