Anything I can do to try and avoid another miscarriage?

(29 Posts)
blimeyohriley Sun 28-Apr-13 20:24:28

I've recently been through my 4th mc. This time it was a mmc requiring an erpc. We already have one dc.

Am ready to try again and my consultant has recommended not hanging around due to my age (although I am only mid thirties).

Last two pregnancies I've been on aspirin, and in all pregnancies have had no caffeine or alcohol and really attempted to limit stress levels. Diet and fitness levels however have not been fantastic due to severe ms.

Is there anything else I can be doing to maximise my chances? I've had all tests for recurrent mc which have not found anything wrong with me.

If anyone has any tips/advice/experiences to share I'd be grateful.

Thank you

squizita Sun 28-Apr-13 21:48:52

Odd advice from your consultant... My Drs (3 specialists in EPU) all independently stressed to relax about age mid 30s! They said 33-38 was 'perfectly normal'. Your Dr should be advising you and giving 'TLC' scans too, NOT stressing you about age. Where are you? My drs said outside London and other cities understanding of 33-38 fertility can be scaremongery.

For medical advice (though it sounds like you're doing the right things) read "miscarriage what every woman should know" by prof Regan. Also, contact the miscarriage association and/or use their support boards. Bit they will tell you similar to this except that your hospital should be giving TLC treatment and constant reassurance - apparently it really does work!

squizita Sun 28-Apr-13 21:53:56

PS. Are you on the testing and beyond thread...? Lots of support there!

My sumpathies for your losses.

Apart from the obvious (keep trying) and in the absence of any cause for your MCs having been found, you should take a good quality antenatal multivitamin (Folic acid and Vit D being the particularly important ones) and follow a general healthy living lifestyle, as you are doing.

I am not aware of any kind of magic bullet - sorry!
Have you been seen at a Recurring MC Clinic or something similar?
I found my hospital had a very supportive approach to new pregnancies in women who had previous losses. There is some evidence that supportive care ie early and lots of scan, makes a difference to outcomes.

FWIW, I had DS1 aged 37, after 3 MCs, and DS4 aged 44 with another MC somewhere inbetween, so the age advice is a bit <ahem> unfortunately worded. Yes, there is no arguing with biology, your eggs are as old as you are, BUT unless your keep TTC and making that leap of faith to try again... no chance.

Good luck!

Also: has your DH also been tested? Semen analysis and karyotype?

blimeyohriley Mon 29-Apr-13 10:26:48

Thanks both for your responses, Pacific, no he hasn't, it hasn't even been suggested that there may be something up with him, it's all been on me....

I am sorry for your losses too, but your story gives me hope. I am currently taking Boots own brand conception support tablets which have vit d in them. Been taking folic acid for nearly 2 years now, its crazy!

Since my 3rd mc the hospital have been good and I have had reassurance scans/monitoring weekly, but it is very sad to have seen the heartbeat/baby numerous times only to one week be told the heartbeat has stopped. In fact I almost wish I had never seen the baby to be honest.

My consultant has said he will refer me to Lesley Regan if I want but that she will not do any differerent tests on me to the ones he has done....he trained at St Mary's apparently. Also, and I know that this may sound silly, I cannot be referred to her if I am pregnant, and I am so impatient that I dont want to have to wait months for a referral, (meanwhile not ttc) only to be told that there is nothing more they can do for me iyswim?

Squizita I have heard good things about Lesley Regans book, but is it current enough? It was written in 2001 wasn't it? Or has it been updated do you know?

I am not on that thread but perhaps I should join, thankyou.

Its such a lonely place, I dont know anyone in RL that has had this many mc.

squizita Mon 29-Apr-13 11:39:16

There is an updated version on sale, yes.

I have heard through the TTC grapevine that the London clinic has better equipment and forensic staff so the same tests often yeald more sensitive results! So worth a try? I am incredibly lucky in that although I live in a humbler area on West London my automatic nearest clinic is St Mary's. Couldn't believe it TBH, how lucky in an odd kind of way.

If you go on the MA forums and look for birth announcements you will find people who have had up to 10+ and then a DC!! So take heart!! Not that I would wish anyone to have to go through that hell BUT it goes to show even the worst off women can get a take home baby with good care!

P35 Mon 29-Apr-13 11:51:40

I saw Regan at St Marys (10 years ago), waited 4 months to see her, test after test and one year on no known reason was found. I did the Pregnacare tablets, and extra folic acid supplements, no caffeine, no alcohol or cigarettes and eat and slept well. Got the go ahead to get pregnant and went to the EMC at St Mary's, scanned from 6 weeks every 2 weeks, 23 week scan revealed an abnormality incompatible with life :-( 2 years later I got my first live baby, followed by another 18 months later. Don't give up!! And yes she is worth seeing :-) xx Good luck xx

squizita Mon 29-Apr-13 12:24:26

P35... thanks for this! And so glad your journey ended in a family for you!! My GP referred me on Friday, DH noted that my 'nerves' (anxiety) immediately improved with the suggestion of St Mary's!

Blimey, my DH had blood tests only, they included a chromosomal analysis. No semen test, I am not sure why I suggested that hmm, which is of course an important test when looking for causes of a couple not conceiving in the first place.

FWIW, although a genetic problem was identified in me, it was actually never the cause of my 4 MMCs. I had 3 different trisomies in the pregnancies I lost, none of which were related to the issues found with me. So whether it was actually worthwhile looking, I don't know... There was active management although I took some Aspirin for the pregnancy which led to DS1. Then didn't for DS2 as I conceived so quickly, and he was fine (well, kinda. Placenta Praevia and 10 weeks prem because of that, but otherwise). DS3 and 4 - no issues, no meds, great deliveries.

I am quite sure that feeling well looked after makes a big difference. Even if the outcome is not the one we all wish for, how traumatic a loss in the longterm is, I feel, depends so much on feeling cared for.
I live at the other end of the country, but was lucky that my consultant was very sympathetic, very nice and very well qualified to help us make informed choices (Prof for Fetal Medicine). The biggests help where all the specialist nurses of the Recurring Miscarriage Clinic. I cannot remember that kind of a set up highly enough.

Good luck to everybody on this thread.

blimeyohriley Wed 01-May-13 12:41:54

Thanks all so much for you advice/experiences and sorry to hear of everything you have been/are going through. I have ordered Lesley Regan's book and asked to be referred to her too, so hopefully I will have some success in the future with another dc.

nananaps Wed 01-May-13 12:54:39

In my very sad experience of 7 mcs, i can say with confidence that there is nothing at all you can do to prevent further mcs.

I did take asprin,double folic acid and multi vits. Cut out caffeine and alcohol.

But then i did all of this and still had the last 3 mcs. sad

I gave up. Got the pill. Waited to take it. Now have a 14 weeks old baby boy, i did nothing different, except lost all hope and gave up completely.

Strange thing this fertility buisiness.

squizita Wed 01-May-13 14:13:02

nananaps such a strange thing and so difficult, so happy that you got your baby boy from the brink of giving up! flowers

Bakingtins Wed 01-May-13 17:03:42

I'm pregnant again after 3 MCs. Slightly unexpected pregnancy in the middle of recurrent MC testing so the plan is 75mg aspirin, 5mg folic acid, 400mg cyclogest (progesterone) twice a day. So far all my tests have been normal, but they are not all back, and this is what the consultant suggested if I either got pregnant before they were back, or if there was nothing specific found.
It remains to be seen if it makes any difference, but they are all in the "can't hurt, might help" category, so we'll see.
Consultant was pretty relaxed about my age (38) although it was a factor in not taking a break from TTC whilst they ran the tests. You can't make your eggs any younger, so no point worrying about that.

blimeyohriley Thu 02-May-13 20:57:08

Nana naps I am so sorry to hear that you went through 7 mcs, that is awful for you. But I am so pleased to hear that you finally got your baby! You must be so thrilled. Can I ask, did your doctor prescribe double folic acid or did you just decide to do that yourself? Also, how much aspirin were you taking?

Baking tins I am keeping my fingers crossed for you, interesting that you have been prescribed progesterone, my consultant wouldn't prescribe me anything other than aspirin. They must vary so much, it's a bit of a lottery it seems. Best of luck with your pregnancy!

Bakingtins Fri 03-May-13 08:10:54

Opinion seems to vary widely on progesterone. Lesley Regan says it doesn't help, and if a pregnancy isn't stimulating enough progesterone from the corpus luteum then it's gone wrong from the start. It's a standard part of post IVF treatment and has been shown to improve outcomes there. I think the only 'harm' it can do is to artificially prolong a pregnancy that is going nowhere, but I'll be having regular scans so I'll know fairly quickly if baby has stopped growing. Feels better to be doing something anyway. It is making me feel awful so it had better work!

squizita Fri 03-May-13 08:16:35

Progesterone isn't prescribed by some because in some cases it can prop up a doomed embryo, causing slightly later MC (worse medically) - sadly I am naturally progesterone rich, making my failed pregnancies a cruel joke as blood wise they look superb and the sac and placenta grow even when the embryo doesn't.
Of course, many people feel they support pregnancies which work out too, and there are studies into this,until the results come back no one can say. But as there are no side effects, if youve had low progesterone beforehand it would be worth asking for it.

squizita Fri 03-May-13 08:19:02

baking oops posted the same thing, same time! grin

blimeyohriley Sun 05-May-13 13:00:12

Thanks for the info on progesterone. Sorry you are feeling awful bakingtins

jollster Sun 05-May-13 22:41:43

I always felt cheered by positive stories when I was in the midst of MC so hopefully this might help your spirits even if I have nothing practical to add.

I had DS1 at 40, started ttc#2 at 41. Had 3MMCs at 12ish weeks, then all the tests, nothing wrong apart from the feckin date on my birth certificate. Started taking Agnus Castus and DHEA. Had another 2 early MCs (around 6weeks). Started to give up hope, and stopped all supplements for Christmas 2011. Got pregnant in Jan 2012 the month before I turned 44, DS2 born September. He's 8months and DELICIOUS.

Good luck, I hope you get your happy ending too x

jollster Sun 05-May-13 22:43:01

ooo, and yes I used Progesterone cream in the first 12 weeks too. But had used that with 3 earlier unsuccessful pregnancies too.

alienbanana Sun 05-May-13 22:47:51

After several MCs and reading lots of threads on here I took aspirin, 5mg folic acid, vitamin D3 and vitamin B12.

I'll never know what it was that finally made the difference, but am 10 weeks now after never getting past the 7 week stage before.

All bloods came back normal, dh tested and all ok too.

Really sorry to head of your losses, ive had two mc and one nnd
Im almost 15 weeks pg atm and have Been on aspirin and progesterone

I would look into progesterone thats really about all you can try that i know about

alienbanana Sun 05-May-13 22:49:59

I read something about folic acid taken for at least 3 months prior to conception helping blood supply to the uterus, which I thought was interesting

Flojobunny Sun 05-May-13 22:52:39

I had 4 mc before having my first DC. I took aspirin and avoided caffeine, alcohol and lavender. Someone told me eating tomatoes helped, no idea why, so I ate loads of them even though I don't like them! The main thing I did was rest as much as possible.

alienbanana Mon 06-May-13 08:03:07

I wonder if the tomatoes thing is true.. by coincidence I've been eating millions of the things.

freelancegirl Mon 06-May-13 10:01:16

So sorry to hear of your losses. Have you also been tested for immune issues like natural killer cells? I know a lot of medical practitioners don't know about these (or believe in them) and they don't test for them at St Mary's. After 4 miscarriages I had my now 9mo DS under Mr Shehata at The Miscarriage Clinic. Further reading in Dr Beer's Is Your Body Baby Friendly or here on the Conception boards with the 'TTC on Prednisolone or similar' thread.

blimeyohriley Wed 08-May-13 11:32:02

Hi everyone thanks so much for the posts since my last post, lots of things for me to try/research.

Sorry to everyone else for their losses and great news to those who have managed to have dc. It seems to be a bit of a lottery for lots of women.

Yy to lottery.

A lot of suggested things have no evidence towards them working.

My 4 losses were when I was younger than with my last 3 successful pregnancies, some of the pregnancies a did everything by the book, some I said 'sod it', some I was quite sensible but did not take extra Folic acid/Aspirin etc.
My first successful pregnancy was partially spent doing a very strenous high altitude trekking tour including camping, altitude sickness and getting close to dehydration. Go figure!

I feel a ratio of 4 MCs vs 4 healthly children is fair enough, but what I did or did not do had nothing to do with outcome.
Do what you are comfortable doing and which allows you to look back on the pregnancy (whether it ends in the delivery of a baby or not) and think 'I am happy with what I did'. And that may be doing everything medically possible or even vaguely recommened, or trying you damndest to avoid thinking about that your TTC.

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