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Advanced Fertility Center of Chicago

Fertility, IVF and Egg Donation

Archive for October, 2019

October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month

by on Oct.17, 2019, under Miscarriage, Pregnancy, Pregnancy Complications

In 1988, President Ronald Reagan declared October as a month to recognize those who have suffered the loss of a child. “When a child loses his parents, they are called an orphan. When a spouse loses her or his partner, they are called a widow or widower. When parents lose their child, there isn’t a word to describe them. This month recognizes the loss so many parents experience across the United States and around the world. It is also meant to inform and provide resources for parents who have lost children due to miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, molar pregnancy, stillbirths, birth defects, SIDS, and other causes.”

If you, or someone you care about has lost a child to stillbirth, miscarriage, or any other cause at any point during pregnancy, we hope you’ll join the team of Advanced Fertility Center of Chicago in raising awareness around Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month.

Whether you’ve conceived naturally or through fertility treatment, it’s estimated that 10 to 25 percent of pregnancies end in a miscarriage. If you’ve endured more than two miscarriages, we recommend you seek the assistance of one of our reproductive endocrinologists.

Some common causes of miscarriages are the following:

  1. Chromosomal causes (example: trisomy)
  2. Autoimmune causes (example: endocrine disorders or Antiphospholipid Syndrome that creates antibodies that can affect the production of blood clots)
  3. Anatomical causes ( uterine defects)
  4. Hormonal causes  (Thyroid and/or Adrenal Gland problems)
  5. Infectious causes (can be rare but an infection workup is possible)

The testing we would do around recurrent pregnancy loss would include chromosomal testing of both parents. In addition, one of several techniques we would employ is to evaluate the shape of the uterine cavity, blood testing for autoimmune causes to see if it would provide any insight for the pregnancy losses, and perform a possible biopsy of the endometrial cavity for chronic infection and perhaps to evaluate the “readiness “ of the uterus for embryo implantation.

If a patient is diagnosed with Recurrent Pregnancy Loss, the treatment would depend on what these tests found. It could involve injections of anticoagulants if, for example, autoimmune testing is positive. It may also involve surgical correction of uterine abnormalities, hormonal supplementation or antibiotics.

In general, patients with chromosomal abnormalities are at an higher risk for miscarriage. Age is also a factor when it comes to women and fertility. The higher percentage of chromosomally abnormal eggs in older women also explains the progressive increase in miscarriage rates with age. For example, Women who are 35-45 yrs old have a 20-35% chance of miscarriage and women over the age of 45 can have up to a 50% chance of miscarriage. It’s suggested they explore the option of IVF with genetic testing like preimplantation genetic testing for aneuploidies (PGT-A) of their embryos.

What’s important to remember is that there are family building options and many patients can benefit from both emotional and psychological support. Several studies have reported improved live birth rates with this kind of support. We recommend Resolve: The National Infertility Association and contacting us so we can learn more about your fertility history and goals to help walk you through your best course of action.

Gary Jones MD

Dr. Jones has been board certified in both Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility for over twenty years.

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Welcome to the
Advanced Fertility Center of Chicago

Richard Sherbahn, MD is a Board Certified Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility specialist.

Dr. Sherbahn founded the Advanced Fertility Center of Chicago in 1997.

He will post regularly about fertility issues.

Dr. Richard Sherbahn
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