15 answers

Immune System Diseases and Miscarriage

I found out last week that I was pregnant and we were very excited. I started bleeding Monday evening and a doctor's visit on Tuesday confirmed that I was no longer expecting. The same thing happened in December so both were very early miscarriages (4-5 weeks). Because no one in my or my husband's family has ever had a known miscarriage, the doctor ordered blood tests on diseases of the immune system, blooding clotting, hormones, etc. If a test comes back positive, it could mean my body is attacking the baby like a foreign invader, therefore ending the pregnancy. What is strange is that we weren't even trying to get pregnant with my two-year old daughter and that pregnancy/delivery was SO easy!! I now eat much better and exercise, which I never did before I had her. I'm just wondering if any of you other mamas have gone through this. I have researched some of the diseases online and some are treatable but some are not. We want a big family and are open to adoption but don't have $30k sitting around for a rainy day! I know God will take care of us but we are still hurting from losing two babies. Has anyone else faced this issue? Any advice or suggestions?
Thank you in advance!

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So What Happened?™

All the blood tests came back normal, so that's good news but a little disappointing. The doctor said the next step would be going to a geneticist and having him/her look at my and my husband's genes to see if we're more prone to conceiving a child with Down's Syndrome, Turner's Syndrome, etc. However, she didn't think we needed to do this (at least yet) since we have a very healthy two-year old. She suggested we wait three cycles and then try again, so that's what we'll do. If it happens again, we'll have more extensive testing done.
I want to thank everyone who contributed helpful, positive, and encouraging responses. I felt a small community of suuport, which is what I really needed. Thank you!!

Featured Answers

I have not had this, but my sister-in-law does. Her first baby girl was born 3 weeks after my oldest son. Then the next 3 pregnancies were miscarriages about week 11 -13.

I do not know what the condition is, since we live 1000's of miles from them and don't see them often.
But she injects heparin into her thigh every day to keep from clotting the baby's circulatory system.

It is painful toward the end when her legs are sore but it works and keeps her immune system from over-reacting. They now have 6 (yes, 6!) beautiful, healthy children from age 17 to an one year old. She had to see 3 ob/gyn's until she found the one who could help her.

More Answers

Wait for the blood tests. It may be that your embryos are not geneticaly viable and they are dying from that. With pregnancy tests as sensitive as they are now, women know they are pg alot sooner than they used to so more women are "miscarrying". THere are lots of reasons and I would not stress about it.

Good Luck!

Firstly, did the doctor take any blood tests to confirm that you were actually pregnant? Or, did he base his diagnosis on your confirmation of being pregnant? Maybe you were just having a heavy late period. The reason I am asking is that this happened to me. In the end it turned out not to be anything but stress....4-5 weeks is VERY early, even to self diagnose. I was told by my doctor once that all of us spontaneously miscarry in the 2-5 week time span, without even realizing it. It's very common. It's just the body's way of making sure that the most viable potential candidates implant and grow. Since you have been pregnant before, without ANY problems, I would just relax about it. Have the blood tests for piece of mind, but if I were you, I would not worry, and enjoy your little one.

L.,

I am sorry for your loss. It is difficult to lose a child no matter how old that child is regardless of loss during gestation. I, too have suffered the same. The good thing is you're able to conceive on your own. I have immunity issues as well and I have been able to deliver 3 healthy babies (1 set of twins) by undergoing several treatments dudring pregnancy: IVIG, heparin, baby asprin, and steroids. I also have conception issues so I had to do some hormone treatments as well. If your tests do come back positive, this is something that is easily treated. I would strongly recommend seeing a qualified physician if, in deed, you do have auto immune issues.

I had low progestorone and miscarried. When I found out I was preg again I had to insert a suppository to sustain pregnancy for the first few weeks. It worked!!! Then I was preg again and the same thing but I believe it was in pill form. Worked again. The older we get the hormones change. My first two I had in my early twenties and the last two my late 30s.

I have had three friends with multiple miscarriages and these types of problems. Look into Austin Fertility Solution http://austinfertilitysolution.com/
They have had wonderful success at natural approaches to fertility problems. Best of luck and take care.

I have not had this, but my sister-in-law does. Her first baby girl was born 3 weeks after my oldest son. Then the next 3 pregnancies were miscarriages about week 11 -13.

I do not know what the condition is, since we live 1000's of miles from them and don't see them often.
But she injects heparin into her thigh every day to keep from clotting the baby's circulatory system.

It is painful toward the end when her legs are sore but it works and keeps her immune system from over-reacting. They now have 6 (yes, 6!) beautiful, healthy children from age 17 to an one year old. She had to see 3 ob/gyn's until she found the one who could help her.

I had a successful and easy pregnancy with my daughter. When I became pregnant the second time I had a miscarriage. It was a long month of doctors appointments to see if I truly did miscarry. Anyways I am now pregnant again and all looks well so far and I'm 10 weeks. You have had one successful pregnancy so you can do it again! You just have to keep trying. I also have a friend who has 2 kids and just went through two miscarriages back to back while trying for a third. Her first pregnancies were easy so this was really upsetting to her. She went through all tests and the doctors found nothing wrong with her hormones or anything. Now she is successfully pregnant with her third child. All I can say is who knows why it happens, but it does and keep trying because you did it once you KNOW you can do it again. I know it's hard, I thought it would never happen to me, but it did. Don't give up just yet. And don't assume something is wrong because you know you are capable of delivering a healthy baby.

Do you have a different RH factor( - vs + ) from your husband? If so, you should have received a shot after each miscarriage to remove this possibility from the equation. If there is a problem with RH factor and you don't get the shot, your body WILL attack the fetus if it has an RH factor opposite of yours because it sees the fetus as a danger.

Hi L.,
I have a friend who has had some of the same issues. Apparently two miscarriages , then a wonderful no issue birth then more miscarriages- I would suggest you look for a really, really, good high risk pregnancy ob- there are things that can b done to help you carry your unborn to term.....
good luck and blessings

Often times with immune system diseases and pregnancy, it isn't until the after the first pregnancy that it affects a pregnancy. The first pregnancy makes your body sensitive to being pregnant and sets up your immune system to react to the baby as a foreign invader in future pregnancies.
You can find lots of internet support groups for women who are experiencing infertility and miscarriage issues after having one successful pregnancy. Sadly many of these women are not given as much emotional support as women who have had fertility issues from the beginning. Somehow the fact that they already have one child is supposed to put them into a different category and it isn't supposed to hurt as much. I guess people believe having a child makes losing a child to miscarriage easier. It is not easy for anyone.
I would say you have already taken the first step in finding out what is causing this issue for you. Perhaps taking that proactive step will help you feel like you are taking control of the situation instead of feeling like all of this is just "happening" to you. Hopefully the issue will be something that is treatable and you will be able to have that large family. Cling to your faith and know that God will help you through the hurt. No matter how early a miscarriage is, it is still a loss. It will take time to heal from that loss. It is amazing how God can work in our lives and turn something terrible into the most perfect outcome. I have been in places where I have wondered how the things I am going through are supposed to temper me and make me stronger and then when I look back I can see where I was and where I am and I just throw my hands up and say "of course, that's why." You may find a day where you can look back and see how God has led you through this and can find that peace. The best advice I can give about getting through the pain is to find others having similar experiences through online boards or in your local community. Also, pray daily for healing from this hurt. You will be surprised how much that can help.

Sorry about your miscarriage...that is so hard. Now- get off the internet and wait for your results. Looking on the internet for reasons is like opening a Pandora's box- you'll be convinced you have every horrible disease ever diagnosed. The problem is more likely the Early Pregnancy Tests! Doctors used to think something like 1 in 5 pregnancies ended in miscarriage but now they are realizing with all of this early testing available that it could be closer to 1 in 2 or 3 pregnancies. And when you think of how many things have to happen for a baby to "become" - that really shouldn't be too surprising. I miscarried at 13 weeks(a little later than your case- but not totally unexpected in my case) and then found out that almost everyone I knew had miscarried at some point. It doesn't necessarily make you feel better knowing you aren't alone but it does highlight the fact that all conceived babies are not necessarily meant to become born babies. And truly, a miscarriage very early on is probably saving you the heartbreak of a baby that wasn't meant to survive. Wait for your results,there may be NO problems at all- just Mother Nture doing her thing- and next time you are late a day or two- just wait before you run out and take that test. Good luck.

Hi L.! Sorry to hear of your miscarriage but wanted to assure you that all things are possible even if if does come back that you have something or not. I currently have thyroid disease which is a autoimmune disease but from what I've been told that even though I have this condition it is NOT the reason that I've had two miscarriages, it could be anything. I believe the two that I miscarried, it was just not my time and God had other plans for me and it was nothing I did or say (such as telling family & friends too early) if there is something not developing accordingly then your body knows & God knows that is a natural way of ridding your body of something that is not right. I was diagnosed with thyroid disease 6 months after my 1st child and have had 2 kids since then. Hope all turns out well for you as for me I am blessed and pray that you will have more kids in the future. Hope this helps!! Blessings!!

I am sorry to hear about the miscarriage. I had three miscarriages myself. I asked the doctor to run test on me to find out the reasons for this and he just kept telling me that nothing was wrong it was just God's way of taking care of it. I did not except that after the third time, I changed doctors and he ran test on me (this was about thirteen years ago so I do not know what the test actually was)and put me on a steriod shot to keep me from losing the baby. I was about 8 - 10 weeks with each one that I lost. He said that there was chemical imbalance in my body that would basically sufficate the baby. I had to stay on this steriod shot for the first trimester. He would have me come in every week to check the status of the baby. The baby was growing and the heartbeat was stronger with each visit. I too had another child so I was thinking if I could do it right one time why can it not happen again. My two girls are six years apart. I wish you luck.

I was "borderline" on one of the immune issues...the treatment was one 81mg "baby" aspirin a day through at least the first trimester (can't remember if it was longer). Start taking them while trying to get pregnant. And progesterone suppositories for the first trimester as well, starting as soon as I got a positive pregnancy test.

On top of all of that...I had a uterine growth competing with the baby for a blood supply...it had to be surgically removed.

It took 5 miscarriages, some just into the 2nd trimester...to figure it all out. So, be proactive...I kept hearing that "these things just happen", "the baby must not have been compatible with life" "its a fluke" etc etc

I NOW use North East OB/GYN they finally started some testing for me and helped me find an reproductive endocrinologist.

If you want to message me...I have been there and know the pain and frustration. HUGS!!

I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. We have also been through a similar situation. We are now in the adoption process and went through Family Link (www.familylinkkids.com). We decided that miscarriage was too traumatic for us and our children to go through. The agency has been great and very supportive. Good Luck

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