A miscarriage can be devastating for any woman. IVF treatment can be a long journey for some women, so a miscarriage can be especially heartbreaking for a woman pursuing pregnancy with IVF. Fortunately, there are several ways you can reduce your risk of miscarriage before starting your first IVF treatment. Being vigilant and taking some additional precautions before treatment can potentially reduce your chances of having to cope with a miscarriage.
1. Closely monitor your diet
Preparing your body for IVF can feel a bit like training for the Olympics. However, putting in the effort to maintain a more strict health regimen, such as a healthy diet and regular exercise, can make a difference in your chances for a successful pregnancy.
In many instances, the cause of a miscarriage is unknown—physicians refer to these miscarriages as “unexplained.” Starting a health regimen at least three months before your expected pregnancy can help eliminate at unidentifiable source of a miscarriage. Smoking, alcohol, and nonprescription drugs should be avoided. Women should also focus on keeping their BMI in the healthy range and eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins.
2. Thoroughly monitor your “equipment”
Identifying any issues with your uterus before receiving IVF treatment is essential. In some fertility clinics in New York City, physicians will only recommend procedures such as a hysteroscopy after recurring miscarriages. A hysteroscopy can identify any growths, blockages, or other damage to the uterus, and is a superior method for spotting issues than ultrasounds. A hysteroscopy can also correct some of these issues. Uterine issues can be common with women seeking IVF, so it is important to identify these issues, instead of waiting to find out about them after several miscarriages.
3. Play the numbers
An indicator that may affect your risk for miscarriage is the number of eggs produced during IVF. While you will not know this number before you begin your first treatment at a New York fertility clinic, this number can give you an idea of your miscarriage risk if you need additional treatments. According to a recent study in the UK, women who produced fewer than four eggs had a higher rate of miscarriage—around 20%— than women who produced more eggs. The average risk of miscarriage for all pregnancies is around 15%. For women who produced 10 to 14 eggs, the risk of miscarriage was actually less than the general population at 13.8%.
Another indicator of risk for miscarriage is age. For women 42 and older, the risk of miscarriage is 50%. A good way to improve your chances of giving birth to a healthy baby is to consider using donor eggs. The rates of a live birth for women 42 and older are between 10% and 15% when using their own eggs. Using donor eggs can reduce your chance of miscarriage and can also reduce the risk of chromosomal abnormalities in the embryo.