Unfortunately, miscarriages are not uncommon after IVF treatment, but they are still devastating for both partners and can be emotionally crippling. However, for many couples, it heightens their desire to start a family and thankfully, in almost every case, it is possible to undergo another course of IVF. Of course, you should always speak with your doctor about this and listen to their thoughts and recommendations.
As the leading clinic offering IVF in Bangkok, we always explain the risks to couples involved with IVF treatment and that potentially they could have a miscarriage. Before commencing even the first course of treatment, we always try to ensure that couples are as well prepared as possible should this eventuality arise. Should you experience a miscarriage, we will assess your mental state just as we conduct physical checks. Our patients’ health and welfare is our primary concern, but assuming you are fit mentally and physically, we would recommend starting another course ASAP.
Why is it important to start another course of IVF treatment quickly?
Evidence suggests that women are most fertile within the first three months after a miscarriage and the medical consensus is that trying again quickly is also better emotionally. However, we also need to stress that we treat every couple on an individual basis, and every situation is unique. For example, if the miscarriage required a Dilation and Curettage Procedure (D&C), it is possible that the female could still be experiencing irritation in the uterus. If any injury has been sustained and the female is still experiencing discomfort, it is vital to wait for at least two menstrual cycles to ensure the body has healed completely.
Ensuring that you are both physically and emotionally ready to start again
We would strongly advise that you have a strong support network around you while undergoing IVF treatment. Arguably the emotional stress is far more challenging for couples to endure than any physical discomfort. Couples should talk openly about their feelings and any concerns that they may have. We always recommend talking at length to your doctor about any concerns, along with undergoing some form of counselling.
During the initial consultations after your miscarriage, you will undergo a thorough physical review to see if any underlying conditions may not have presented themselves previously. Of course, the examination will also include checks for any physical injuries to the uterus or womb. If the miscarriage was experienced in the latter stages of the pregnancy, we would also carry out more extensive checks, especially if an injury, such as a fall, may have contributed to the loss.
The importance of telling your doctor everything
Regardless of how trivial something may have seemed at the time, you must tell your doctor. Had you noticed any unusual discomfort or believe that your baby was moving less just before the miscarriage? Another issue that couples often fail to mention is if they had undergone changes to the lifestyle, such as changing diet or exercise regime. Some women do tend to overexert themselves, and this could potentially be the problem.
Whatever additional information you can give to the doctors could help prevent a further miscarriage. Remember, our role is never to judge; it is to offer support and guidance to help understand why your loss occurred and what can be done to stop it from happening again. Honesty with medical professionals is essential to guarantee that you get the proper treatment.
Have you experienced previous miscarriages?
If you have experienced recurrent miscarriages, and by this we would mean three or more, you should immediately ask to be referred to a specialist OB/GYN or fertility clinic that has state of the art equipment and can conduct a more thorough investigation. Even if you experienced miscarriages with another partner in your past, perhaps in your teens, or you have undergone an abortion at some point previously, seeking a complete check is essential.
From our experience, we have found that recurrent miscarriages often follow a typical pattern and caused by one or more of the following factors:
- Genetic or chromosomal abnormalities that occurred with each foetus
- You may have abnormalities with your uterus, which prevents the foetus from either implanting at the start of the pregnancy or developing properly in the womb. Often this is something that can be resolved with another medical procedure before another course of IVF commences
- In some cases, known as immune-related infertility, the woman’s body can reject foreign bodies, in this case, the male’s sperm, and start to attack them in an immune response
These potential issues need to be properly diagnosed before continuing with IVF treatment as the chances of a further miscarriage are disproportionately high. The trauma of repeated miscarriages is damaging physically and, of course, emotionally, with most women reporting that their energy levels have “plummeted” or they “feel drained”.
When should you not consider further courses of IVF treatment?
Sadly, there are times with some couples that we feel the need to advise them to stop any further IVF treatment. Typically, it is when the female has some physical problems that cannot be resolved through alternative therapy such as surgery. If genetic issues have been diagnosed, and these can’t be resolved with additional treatment at our clinic, we would also recommend seeking alternatives methods of starting a family, such as adoption.
Maintaining the emotional wellbeing of the couple is also vital. If doctors believe that the strain has become too much and could cause further damage to your mental wellbeing, they will almost certainly advise you to at least postpone further treatment. Finally, there is no overlooking the fact that IVF treatment is expensive, and some couples cannot afford to continue with treatment. If the burden of IVF treatment has resulted in crippling financial damage to you and your family, you should stop for everyone’s benefit.
Correct preparation before undergoing IVF treatment
Finally, at First Fertility, we always do everything we can to ensure that couples are prepared physically and mentally, whatever the result of IVF treatment. As a couple, you should maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle, and where possible, avoid stress. Build a strong support network around you that you can refer to should anything not go to plan.