Dear Professor Winston,
Last month I was given the devastating news that our second pregnancy had also ended. We suffered an early miscarriage last year and at a routine scan in June this year we were told that the baby had died two weeks previously. No heartbeat. I have been told by the hospital that “these things unfortunately happen”! I wondered if you can advise me on why these things happen? I feel like we have been given no answers whatsoever! They said it was “most likely a chromosome abnormality”. What can we do to avoid this happening again? Why do babies attach and begin to grow in the uterus and then suddenly stop growing? I feel some insight and answers may help us heal because at the moment we are totally devastated and do not understand why this has happened.
Your question and answer session on This Morning today was so helpful so thank you for that!
You tell me almost nothing about yourself, so it is very difficult to advise you. How old are you? How long have you been trying? Have you been investigated for infertility? What is your weight and height? How many weeks were your pregnancies at the time of miscarriage. Are your periods regular? Any operations or illnesses? And so on…. I definitely do not want any identifying information but some basic background would give me an indication of how to offer some advice.
I am 30 years old, we began trying last September 2017 and was pregnant within the first month but began bleeding around 4.5 / 5 weeks pregnant and miscarried.
We then waited for my cycles to become regular again which wasn’t until January 2018 and yes they are normal 28/29 day regular monthly cycles normally and we then conceived in April this year. I was 9 weeks pregnant when we went for a reassurance scan to be told the baby had stopped growing at 6 weeks and 5 days. My body had no noticed they said. I had lots of pregnancy symptoms, no bleeding at all and very nauseous. This situation was treated in hospital; I had tablets to make me miscarry but pregnancy tests still showed positive three weeks after this so I had a further scan which revealed I had pregnancy tissue left over so I had surgery to remove this.
I have not been investigated for infertility as hospital and doctors said there seems to be no problem getting pregnant and until we suffer three miscarriages they won’t look into it.
I am 5ft 7 inches tall and weigh 12 stone 7 lbs.
Had no major illnesses or operations in my life until this last pregnancy operation mentioned above.
What you have been told is correct. In general, the NHS will not investigate somebody who has had two miscarriages and who is relatively young (under 35) providing they are getting pregnant fairly easily. This is because at least 25% of pregnancies miscarry and most of the time investigations do not come up with a cause for the miscarriage. I fully understand that this is very distressing but you can certainly help yourself. Unless I am wrong, I calculate that your BMI is around 27 which for a 30 year old woman is overweight and shedding around a stone at least will greatly increase your chance of conception and reduce the chance of miscarriage. This is likely to be a probable hormonal imbalance and weight loss should change this.
My advice is to check your BMI and your latest weight; by looking on the NHS website you should aim for the healthy level that is recommended there.