Recurrent Pregnancy Loss

Updated on February 05, 2010
K.P. asks from Naperville, IL
9 answers

Friends, I have just lost a pregnancy. This is my fifth pregnancy in three years. I am 38 and feel the clock ticking.

Here's some background on me. I have PCOS and have been seeing an endocronologist in Downers Grove for six years. In that time, I've had two miscarriages and a healthy pregnancy in 2007.

Since that pregnancy, I've had two more miscarriages this year (Jan and Oct). The first D&C, I had testing to show that there were chromosomal issues. For this pregnancy, I also ran tests on both fetal sacks. I have about three more weeks to see the results.

During my last pregnancy, my endocrinoogist made a few errors that sent my head and emotions spiraling. This was a spontaneous pregnancy (I am able to pregnant, just not carry the pregnancy past 7 or 9 weeks) so my exact date of conception could not be determined. When I had my blood drawn, my progesterone was low, so I was put on prometrium. I did this for my healthy pregnancy in 2007, too. My numbers went up, but my HcG was not consistent. At one point, it dropped, and my ultrasound showed that the yolk sack had, as they said, "dissintegrated." I was heart broken.

My doctor suggested that I do a D&C the next day. I opted to just go through it naturally. I wasn't ready to go through the procedure. It just didn't feel right. However, I did ask my doctor to run blood tests for auto-immune problems (as I read about them online.)

So, my doctor told me to come in the following week, so they could be sure my numbers were going down. And, they didn't. In fact, the next week, my numbers went up. The staff was confused (even called me a miracle), so they did an ultrasound. Lo and behold, a second sac ... with a beating heart! However, the NP told me that I was having thyroid issues (based on my blood test they ran) and she was very concerned.

I went back on prometrium. But, I lost the pregnancy five days later. The ups and downs of this one were devastating. I found a doctor who specializes in Recurrent Pregnancy Loss (RPL), Dr. Coulam (in Evanston), and had her conduct the D&C. I am awaiting results (three weeks away). I am told it could be a thyroid, chromosomal, or age issue amongst other things.

AS you can see, I've been through a lot. I feel like I am realistic about expectations and I am trying to stay informed, but it's hard to know what's going on inside of me as I am not an expert. Not being able to plan for the future, or even to get my hopes up is a difficult position. I feel "stuck," and I am going through all of these hormonal changes for each pregnancy -- it's tough! I also have friends and family that are wonderful support, but I am dragging them through this, too. There have been a lot of tears and hugs, but I can't keep putting myself and everyone through this.

Does anyone out there have words of wisdom for me?

What can I do next?

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So What Happened?

UPDATE: This year, we underwent IVF (Dr. Morris in Naperville) and PGD (pre-genetic diagnosis), we were able to successfully get pregnant the first try (despite the fact that less than 5% of my eggs were useable)! We are now in our second trimester and just THRILLED to be expecting a baby! I HIGHLY recommend, if anyone has had recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL)/miscarriages, to undergo genetic testing (which entails a quick blood draw of both partners). It cost us $400 total and we were able to pinpoint our issues and work around it. If anyone has any questions, I am an open-book and happy to help.

Again, thanks to all of you for your comfort and knowledge!


It's been an eventful last few months. I went to go see an infertility doctor who specializes in recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL) and she recommended genetic testing, which was fruitful. Through this testing, we discovered that I have an inversion on one of my chromosomes which is leading to recurrent miscarriage. The doctor's recommendation is that we do IVF so we can identify embryos with the chromosomal abnormality. It's not a cure-all as IVF is not foolproof, however, I do feel hopeful.

I want to thank all of you who generously shared your experiences. It was very comforting in what seemed to be a hopeless situation. I continue to carry all of your wishes and wisdom with me. Thanks, Friends!!

More Answers



answers from Chicago on

I am so sorry. It is so hard to know when you should stop trying. We went through the IVF, etc. Long story. You and your husband will need to make a choice. Are you going to keep trying knowing that the odds are stacked against you. Don't miss out on being with your little one you have now. I certainly son't want to sound harsh. You and your body have been though a lot. We ended up choosing adoption. It also has its ups and downs.

Take care pf yourself.


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answers from Chicago on

Hi K.,
As many others I have been through infertility but everyone has their own story and experience. If you are looking for advice, I would say decide how far you want to go and what you are willing to put yourself through. It is natural to be emotional with all of the hormones, but it is good to have a break and get perspective. If it doesn't happen for you, can you resolve yourself that you have a wonderful child already? Are there other options such as adoption? Also, I found going through infertility you are your biggest advocate. Not to obsess over, but write down every level, every conversation and question everything. Hang in there and it sounds like you have people around to turn to-they are on the ride and wouldn't want it any other way, so don't feel you are putting them out.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I am so very sorry for your heartbreaking loss. I wish I could give you a big hug. I know exactly how you feel as I have had 4 miscarriages myself. It's great that you have friends and family for support, as did I, but bless their hearts they just don't know how painful the losses are.
I was in a very dark place after my last miscarriage which was a year ago. I was so incredibly angry. I had friends that got pregnant shortly after my loss and I'm ashamed to say that I was very jealous.
It has been a long road but I have come a long way since then. Too much to write here. But I have learned many things. I still hope for another child but I am 39 so my clock is ticking loud! My goal is to be in a place where I have not lost the desire for a baby but I have lost the desperation and attachment to the outcome.
Personally, I don't think now is the time for you to make a "plan" or try to have things figured out. Just spend the next few weeks healing your body and heart. I think instead of thinking, it's important to let your mind be still so you can hear the answers when they come to you. And be sure they will.
I remember all too well the feeling of wanting another baby so bad but being so scared to face the possibility of the pain of a loss all over again. That is where I was last year. It's a hard state to be in because you are just creating fear for and around yourself which is never a good thing.
Personally, I don't think you should give up. I could tell you dozens of stories of women who had babies with the odds stacked against them. It is totally possible for you to have another baby. As your body is healing now, use this time to nourish and grow your spirit. Try to get to a place where you are ok with what has happened.
Best of luck to you on this journey. I am sending you much love and light...
Take care,

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answers from Chicago on

K....what a heartbreaking story. I have a friend who has PCOS and I know she is/was on metfromin (sp?)and had a healthy pregnancy.

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answers from Chicago on

I would say it's definitely so much easier to handle when you have had one successful pregnancy, and what a miracle that one will seem now! I have an 11 year old son. I had a miscarriage in December, but actually the baby died at approximately 7 weeks which I didn't find out until I went to my 10 week checkup. I had been getting acupuncture treatments to prevent miscarriage and i'd say it worked pretty well since my body held onto the baby for such a long time, and it wasn't my body that wasn't able to carry it but the doc said probably a chromosomal anomaly. (i also got the swine flu shot which ive heard may or may not cause miscarriage; in my case maybe not because i didn't miscarry right after i got the shot.) Anyway, my thoughts are with you, and i'm very sorry for your loss. Acupuncture could help with preventing miscarriage; i also got acupuncture to get pregnant and it worked the first time. (I'm 41.) Although this sounds like it's definitely not your issue. I wish you the best and I hope everything works out for you!!

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answers from Chicago on

K., I am so sorry. My husband and I went through two years of infertility (we weren't sure we would ever get pregnant), then conceived, and miscarried. It was devastating. Four months later, we got pregnant with our son- he is now two also. Shortly after he was born, I found out I was pretty seriously hypothyroid. I have been on medication since then, and we just spontaneously conceived our 2nd.
I had the hardest time going through our ups and downs. It wears on you emotionally and breaks your heart. I had the hardest time being happy for friends and family that were pregnant because I was going through such hell. I think you need to start asking yourself some questions to know how to keep going. Are you open to adoption at all? Are you willing to consider it, is your husband? (In our situation, I was open to it, but my husband was not at the time). What is most important to you- for your daughter to have a sibling, or a blood-related sibling? Do you know what your end point is? Is it a certain amount of time trying? A certain age? or something else? I think you have to talk over the hard questions with your husband and come up with the answers you feel most comfortable with. It may never feel completely "right", but there may be some choices you are more willing to pursue or live with, than others.

I have a friend who is 44. She married late, and has been trying to get pregnant for years now. I just found out she is pregnant. Her doctor told her she would only do IVF again if she used donor eggs. She did, and got pregnant on the first try. She is thrilled. I am so happy for her. There are many paths that can lead to babies in our lives.
One more place I would look to for support is They were a great source of support for me when we were having trouble.

I'm not sure if I've been any help, but I just wanted to reach out to you because I have been there. I wish you lots of luck and I hope you have good news soon.


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answers from Chicago on

I saw Dr. Coulam too for immune problems. Dr. Coulam treated me with Lovenox, Baby Aspirin and Intralipids during my IVF cycle. I was also taking Synthroid to manage my thyroid level. I am now 7 months pregnant. Do not give up hope and do whatever Dr. Coulam recommends.

Feel free to email me with any questions.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Hi K.,
I am so sorry for you losses. I do have a close girlfriend that had one healthy pregnancy after several miscarriges befor the 9th week. After he pregnancy same thing 4 more times. She did discover she had a thyroid problem. Went on medications and had two sucessful pregnancies!!!! Hope this helps! Praying for you and your family!!!!

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answers from Chicago on

I am right there with you!!! Alot of the problems you are having I also have the same!!
After 8 long years of going threw several doctors from all around the US I finally found the RIGHT doctor right behind my house!!!
Dr. Binor at Rush Copley!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I can not tell you how wonderfull he is. So after 8 long years I ssw Dr. Binor after first IVF cycle we were pregnant and I had no problems!!!
I can't not tell you again how great he is!!!
I am currently starting to see him again for our number 2 baby.

I wish you lots of luck!!!

Please give him a call and make an appt with Dr. Binor

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