multiple miscarriages: preventive measures?? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 19 Old 06-07-2008, 06:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My friend has just become pregnant again after 5 miscarriages.
She's finding it hard to be happy as you can imagine: she's afraid to get off her couch.
I have suggested a whole foods prenatal and quitting the caffeine but I have nothing else to offer.......
I know lots of you here probably have some advice on how to make this one "stick"? She'll try anything
Thanks so much

Erin-doula and mama to Ari Beat (4/7/03) and Eli Roots (3/27/06) angel.gif 6/09 angel.gif 10/09 and sweet Bodhi (6/25/11). Now growing #4 who we will meet in October joy.gif
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#2 of 19 Old 06-07-2008, 06:40 PM
 
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Cut out the Caffeine it is very bad for her!
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#3 of 19 Old 06-07-2008, 07:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm not even certain she actually drinks caffeine, I was just offering anything I could think of.

Erin-doula and mama to Ari Beat (4/7/03) and Eli Roots (3/27/06) angel.gif 6/09 angel.gif 10/09 and sweet Bodhi (6/25/11). Now growing #4 who we will meet in October joy.gif
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#4 of 19 Old 06-07-2008, 10:05 PM
 
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Years ago, I recall that vitamin E and vitamin C, the antioxidants are excellent in helping to maintain a pregnancy.

TAking vitamin C helps the absorption of iron to prevent anemia.

And lots of rest.

goood luck to her.

"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic."
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#5 of 19 Old 06-07-2008, 11:40 PM
 
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I suggest having her progesterone levels drawn ASAP, the results ordered STAT and an OB who is willing to prescribe progesterone if they are below 20. If they are below 20 and the OB recs. prometrium (brand name), she should take them vaginally rather than orally b/c something like 80% of oral progesterone is not absorbed.

She could always use natural progesterone, but I don't like to suggest it w/o having levels tested and when levels are low, I'd rather go straight to a measurable dose (Rx) than anything else. There are natural progesterone suppositories available by Rx but they have to be compounded and are usually VERY expensive.

to her...I've had multiple losses too and I know she's in for a stressful couple of months!!

Charlotte, midwife to some awesome women, wife to Jason, and no longer a mama to all boys S reading.gif('01), A nut.gif ('03) S lol.gif ('08) and L love.gif ('10).
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#6 of 19 Old 06-07-2008, 11:43 PM
 
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She could also ask her doctor (if he/she hasn't already) to test her for clotting disorders like MTHFR - they cause a lot of miscarriages and baby aspirin/Folgard can help to maintain the pregnancy. Best of luck to her!

Lacie, mama to Ethan (5), Logan (2), and Dylan, born 5/12/11!
 
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#7 of 19 Old 06-07-2008, 11:45 PM
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I agree with LacieD about blood clotting disorders. Factor II and Factor V Leiden are a couple other ones to get tested for.

"Our task is not to see the future, but to enable it."
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#8 of 19 Old 06-07-2008, 11:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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she just found out yesterday that she was pregnant and so I am still quite clueless---she did, however, tell me she is taking progesterone suppositories--though not sure if it's natural progesterone. I'll have to find that out from her.
Also, she doesn't drink caffeine, only water: not sure about chocolate....

thanks for everyone's help---keep it coming!

Erin-doula and mama to Ari Beat (4/7/03) and Eli Roots (3/27/06) angel.gif 6/09 angel.gif 10/09 and sweet Bodhi (6/25/11). Now growing #4 who we will meet in October joy.gif
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#9 of 19 Old 06-08-2008, 12:04 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LacieD View Post
She could also ask her doctor (if he/she hasn't already) to test her for clotting disorders like MTHFR
Actually, MTHFR is not a clotting disorder at all, but a gene that can be mutated. It happens to be the gene that helps regulate homocystine levels and if the gene is mutated, it might not function properly, causing elevated homocystine levels, which can then (and only then) cause a "clotting disorder." There are more serious clotting disorders which can cause miscarriage, but generally a MTHFR mutation is not the cause of recurrent early loss, although elveated homocystine levels *MIGHT* cause an early loss.

Sometimes getting tested for all of those clotting disorders causes more stress than it relieves. I'm still trying to wrap my brain around my pregnancy, which I started out being told was at high risk for stillbirth, miscarriage, spinal disorders, etc. Turns out that two separate perinatologists and a hematologist confirm that as long as my homocystine levels are normal, I'm a totally normal pregnant woman, no matter what my MTHFR gene looks like. So now I'm pretty sure I'm not at a huge risk for a stillbirth and I'm 24 weeks pregnant with a baby that I spent 20 weeks trying not to get "too attached" to.

FWIW, if I had it to do again, I'd get tested for the major stuff like factor V lieden and anticardiphon antibody and antiphospilipid, but I'd leave out the MTHFR.

Charlotte, midwife to some awesome women, wife to Jason, and no longer a mama to all boys S reading.gif('01), A nut.gif ('03) S lol.gif ('08) and L love.gif ('10).
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#10 of 19 Old 06-08-2008, 04:25 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charmie981 View Post
Actually, MTHFR is not a clotting disorder at all, but a gene that can be mutated. It happens to be the gene that helps regulate homocystine levels and if the gene is mutated, it might not function properly, causing elevated homocystine levels, which can then (and only then) cause a "clotting disorder." There are more serious clotting disorders which can cause miscarriage, but generally a MTHFR mutation is not the cause of recurrent early loss, although elveated homocystine levels *MIGHT* cause an early loss.
I could be wrong, but from what I've seen, there are a bunch of MTHFR polymorphisms (which are actually variations of normal), but I haven't seen anything on MTHFR mutations (which are abnormal). Most likely you actually have a MTHFR polymorphism, which could do exactly what you described depending on which polymorphism it is and what your diet is like. Basically MTHFR is the folate gene and people with certain polymorphisms need more folate (and sometimes other nutrients as well like riboflavin) for their methylation pathways to function as well as the average person's, and sometimes (depending on the polymorphisms and some other genes) their methylation pathways won't function well no matter how much additional folate they consume. MTHFR is involved not only in maintaining homocysteine levels but also in detoxifying various chemicals, both natural and artificial. Women who give birth to babies with neural cord defects are more likely than the general population to have MTHFR polymorphisms.

I hope that makes sense...it doesn't really change this discussion but I wanted to point out that MTHFR polymorphisms are actually less common variations of normal, not abnormalities or mutations.
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#11 of 19 Old 06-08-2008, 04:46 PM
 
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I actually have a mutation in both of my MTHFR genes, meaning that I have a homozygous mutation. It's a fairly rare thing...only about 15% of the population has a homozygous mutation, although about 40% of the popluation has a heterozygous mutation (one mutated gene).

I've never heard of a polymorphism, although it is probably what my hematologist was speaking of when he said that homocystine levels are highly variable depending on diet, even in people w/ normal MTHFR genes. You can read more about MTHFR mutations here.

Charlotte, midwife to some awesome women, wife to Jason, and no longer a mama to all boys S reading.gif('01), A nut.gif ('03) S lol.gif ('08) and L love.gif ('10).
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#12 of 19 Old 06-08-2008, 05:00 PM
 
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I'm just speaking from personal experience - I'm heterozygous for MTHFR and I had 2 m/c before the mutation was discovered. It was described to me as a clotting issue, and it took BA/Folgard to carry this baby to term.

Lacie, mama to Ethan (5), Logan (2), and Dylan, born 5/12/11!
 
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#13 of 19 Old 06-08-2008, 05:23 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charmie981 View Post
I actually have a mutation in both of my MTHFR genes, meaning that I have a homozygous mutation. It's a fairly rare thing...only about 15% of the population has a homozygous mutation, although about 40% of the popluation has a heterozygous mutation (one mutated gene).

I've never heard of a polymorphism, although it is probably what my hematologist was speaking of when he said that homocystine levels are highly variable depending on diet, even in people w/ normal MTHFR genes. You can read more about MTHFR mutations here.
Technically that should be called a polymorphism, though, not a mutation. See http://genome.wellcome.ac.uk/doc_WTD020780.html The scientific literature that I have looked at refers to what you are talking about as polymorphisms, not mutations (although it appears that even scientists aren't entirely in agreement on the technical terms!). Basically a mutation is very rare and considered abnormal--something that is quite common genetically in the general population should be referred to as a genetic polymorphism, just a variation of normal.

That's not what your hematologist was talking about. Someone with normal methylation capacity will have variable homocysteine levels based on, for instance, the amount of folate in their diet. But how well someone's methylation cycle works (and how well they recycle homocysteine) is based on both their genetic capacity (ie which form of MTHFR they have, among other things) and their nutrient levels, how many toxins their body is trying to process at any given time, and probably other things that I can't remember ATM.
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#14 of 19 Old 06-08-2008, 06:30 PM
 
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ditto the testing.

the progesterone can't hurt at all.

I've had 19 losses and this past time used false unicorn root, black hawk *and* squaw vine from 4dpo onward till 12+ weeks. I am *sure* that contributed to his being sticky. It can't hurt to try, even if one is on meds for a clotting disorder or MTHFR those herbs do NOt negatively affect things.
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#15 of 19 Old 06-08-2008, 09:00 PM
 
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Please don't anyone suggest that this could be psychological. Just...don't.

Most early miscarriages are caused by some defect in the embryo or in the mother's hormonal makeup -- which means that there's nothing you can do to make it stick if it's destined to miscarry, you know? You have to deal with the issue ahead of time.

If she has another miscarriage, it would be a very good idea to see a reproductive endocrinologist to help nail down the source of the problem.
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#16 of 19 Old 06-09-2008, 09:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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so she had a blood test at the doc's (I'm assuming) and it was negative.
SHe had taken 3 HPT which were all positive--is this normal?

Erin-doula and mama to Ari Beat (4/7/03) and Eli Roots (3/27/06) angel.gif 6/09 angel.gif 10/09 and sweet Bodhi (6/25/11). Now growing #4 who we will meet in October joy.gif
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#17 of 19 Old 06-09-2008, 10:36 PM
 
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I'd ask if it was a qualitative or quantitative test. the former is yes/no and usually measures around 25miu (which is well beyond technically pregnant) and the latter gives a number. any time someone says a blood test was negative I suspect the yes/no test which isn't the best. any number over 5 in a woman of childbearing age is pregnant.
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#18 of 19 Old 06-11-2008, 06:08 PM
 
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It is possible that she had + hpts and then a negative blood test (even a qualitative test) if she's experiencing a chemical pregnancy, which is just another word for a really, really early miscarriage...the HPT's could have caught the HCG at it's peak and it could have rapidly decreased after that. It's also possible, though, that they're not doing a qualitative HCG (she'll know if it was qualitative because they'll be able to give her a # value for what her HCG levels were).

If her doctor isn't doing qualitative testing on someone with a history of multiple losses, she needs to find a new doctor. to her. It took me YEARS to find someone willing to get to the bottom of my losses and do what needed to be done to help prevent another one.

Charlotte, midwife to some awesome women, wife to Jason, and no longer a mama to all boys S reading.gif('01), A nut.gif ('03) S lol.gif ('08) and L love.gif ('10).
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#19 of 19 Old 06-11-2008, 11:46 PM
 
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I had three miscarriages and lots of tests with a reproductive endocrinologist that all came back normal. When I got pregnant the fourth time the RE tested my progesterone and prescribed natural progesterone suppositories which I got at a compounding pharmacy. My insurance helped and it cost me about $80 a month for the suppositories and vials of injectable progesterone. I was on it until 13 weeks. I'm now almost 38 weeks pregnant. :

It could have had nothing to do with the progesterone at all and may have just been the right baby at the right time for my body. On the other hand, the progesterone could have been the saving factor in this pregnancy. I will have my progesterone tested immediately with any subsequent pregnancy just to be sure - because it seems to have worked for me this time.

I wish your friend all the luck in the world. It sounds like she has a great support person - you.
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