Morrison was eventually diagnosed with a hormone imbalance: Low progesterone during pregnancy kept her uterus from nourishing the embryo. With treatment, she went on to have four children. Although Morrison went through agony for years before discovering what was wrong, her story illustrates that there are ways to identify what causes miscarriages and what can be done to prevent them. Important to know because, while most women will go on to have a successful pregnancy, about 5 percent are likely to lose another baby. And the use of assisted reproductive technology such as in vitro fertilization (common among women 35-plus) seems to boost miscarriage risks even more.
Do a little detective work
When you’re planning to get pregnant, your first move should be a careful prepregnancy checkup to reveal potential risk factors like diabetes-related problems, high blood pressure, polycstic ovary syndrome, fibroids, or thyroid abnormalitiesall of which are mostly treatable, says Mary Stephenson, MD, professor of obstetrics and gynecology and director of the recurrent-pregnancy-loss program at the University of Chicago Medical Center.
Go over your medical history with your doctor, and also mention any medications, herbs, and supplements you are taking. You might learn something about potentially risky non-prescription meds like ibuprofen or herbs like ginkgo. Even taking a little time to discuss a family history of miscarriages with your doctor might uncover a correctable problem.