Recurrent Pregnancy Loss

The treatment for recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL) depends on what's causing the condition.

Chromosomal Cause

In cases where an abnormality of chromosome structure is causing RPL, one possible therapy is in vitro fertilization (IVF), with biopsy and chromosomal evaluation of each embryo, called pre-implantation genetic diagnosis.

Anatomical Abnormalities

Diagnostic tests such as hysterosalpingograms, saline sonohysterograms and hysteroscopy (an endoscopic inspection of the uterus) can be used to evaluate the uterine cavity. Many abnormalities within the uterine cavity can be corrected with minor surgery.

Immunological Causes

Anti-phospholipid antibody syndrome (APS) has been shown to respond to treatment with blood thinning medications.

Blood Clotting Disorders (Thrombophilias)

Currently, there is no evidence that blood thinning medications can prevent miscarriage, although studies are ongoing.

Hormonal Abnormalities

In cases of uncontrolled diabetes or thyroid gland dysfunction, correcting the hormonal imbalances is recommended.

Unproven Tests and Treatments

In the search for a solution for RPL, several tests and therapies have been used that are not proven to be helpful. These include:

  • Maternal antibodies directed against paternal cells
  • Chemicals toxic to embryo development (embryotoxic factors)
  • Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG)
  • White blood cell (leukocyte) immunization

UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.

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