Country music star Carrie Underwood is a mom of two young sons, however it wasn’t an easy road getting there. She recently opened up about having multiple miscarriages. Carrie had three miscarriages between 2017 and 2018. She shared how challenging it was to get pregnant. Said Carrie, “You still might not exactly understand why,” she said, “but you come out on the other side feeling a little bit stronger.” She shared that she’s not sure if she will expand her family anymore since it was so difficult for her to get pregnant a second time.
Having a miscarriage is a heartbreaking, painful experience. Many women have difficulty carrying a pregnancy to term, and there are many possible causes. However, there are two common possible causes of miscarriages that we want to address.
First, let’s start with the basics.
What is a miscarriage?
A miscarriage is the spontaneous loss of a pregnancy, or a pregnancy that ends on its own, before the 20th week. Most miscarriages occur before the 12th week of pregnancy. About 10 to 20 percent of known pregnancies end in miscarriage.
Symptoms of Miscarriage
Symptoms of a miscarriage may include:
- Vaginal spotting or bleeding
- Pain or cramping in the abdomen or lower back
- Fluid or tissue passing from the vagina
*Keep in mind that most women who experience vaginal spotting or bleeding in the first trimester go on to have successful pregnancies.
Risk Factors for Miscarriage
Various factors increase the risk of miscarriage, including:
- Women older than age 35 have a higher risk of miscarriage than do younger women. At age 35, you have about a 20 percent risk. At age 40, the risk is about 40 percent. And at age 45, it’s about 80 percent.
- Previous miscarriages. Women who have had two or more consecutive miscarriages are at higher risk of miscarriage.
- Chronic conditions. Women who have a chronic condition, such as uncontrolled diabetes, have a higher risk of miscarriage.
- Uterine or cervical problems. Certain uterine abnormalities or weak cervical tissues (incompetent cervix) might increase the risk of miscarriage.
- Smoking, alcohol and illicit drugs. Women who smoke during pregnancy have a greater risk of miscarriage than do nonsmokers. Heavy alcohol use and illicit drug use also increase the risk of miscarriage.
- Being underweight or being overweight has been linked with an increased risk of miscarriage.
- Invasive prenatal tests. Some invasive prenatal genetic tests, such as chorionic villus sampling and amniocentesis, carry a slight risk of miscarriage.
Optimal Thyroid Function Helps Prevent Miscarriage
Having optimal levels of thyroid hormone is critical for conception and a healthy pregnancy. It is essential to the ability to become pregnant, and must be maintained in order to sustain a healthy pregnancy, even in the earliest days after conception. A thyroid evaluation should be done in any woman who wants to get pregnant with family history of thyroid problems, irregular menstrual cycles, had more than two miscarriages or is unable to conceive after one year of unprotected intercourse.(1)
Prevalence of autoimmune thyroiditis, or Hashimoto’s, is significantly higher among infertile women, especially among those whose infertility is caused by endometriosis or ovarian dysfunction. Presence of thyroid autoimmunity does not interfere with normal embryo implantation, but the risk of early miscarriage is substantially increased. Hypothyroidism is associated with increased risk of miscarriage, for which treatment can be beneficial. Screening for thyroid disorders in pregnant women can be advantageous in women at high risk, particularly infertile women. (2)
Thyroid disturbances are common in women during their reproductive years. Thyroid dysfunction interferes with reproduction, reduces the likelihood of pregnancy and adversely affects pregnancy outcome. Research shows that pregnant women with subclinical hypothyroidism or thyroid antibodies have an increased risk of complications, especially pre-eclampsia, perinatal mortality, and miscarriage.
Universal screening for thyroid hormone abnormalities is not routinely recommended at present, but thyroid function must be examined in women with miscarriage or menstrual disturbances. Doctors should be aware that thyroid disorders can be an underlying cause for recurrent pregnancy loss. (3)
Research demonstrates that subclinical hypothyroidism is a risk factor for miscarriage in women before 20 weeks of pregnancy, and early treatments can reduce the miscarriage rate. In addition, subclinical hypothyroidism patients with autoimmune thyroiditis, or Hashimoto’s, have a higher prevalence of miscarriage. (4) Hypothyroidism and autoimmune thyroiditis were significantly associated with miscarriage. (5) The researchers recommend early treatments to avoid adverse pregnancy outcomes and complications.
Progesterone’s Role in Preventing Miscarriage
Progesterone deficiency can lead to miscarriage because optimal progesterone enables the body to maintain a pregnancy. (6) It makes possible the survival of the fertilized egg by promoting the implantation. Progesterone also maintains the lining of the womb which feeds the developing embryo.
A research study included women with at least three unexplained recurrent miscarriages. They were divided into three groups according to their progesterone levels. For women with inadequate progesterone secretion, natural progesterone was given until 12 weeks gestation. Pregnancy cycles were analyzed to examine the miscarriage rate following progesterone supplementation. When analyzed by the number of previous miscarriages, there was a reduction in the miscarriage rate following progesterone supplementation. The study concluded that progesterone supplementation may be beneficial in women with otherwise unexplained recurrent miscarriages. (7)
Don’t Lose Hope – Kathryn’s Story
After a horrible accident, Kathryn had no energy, couldn’t sleep, was losing weight and she went into early menopause in her twenties. Doctors told her she could never have children. Watch to hear her tell her amazing story. Today, Kathryn has 5 beautiful children!
We Can Help
If you have suffered a miscarriage, please don’t give up. Find out if your hormones are out of balance first, since optimal hormone levels are crucial for a healthy pregnancy. Take our symptom checker to find out if you could have symptoms of hormone decline and imbalance.
We believe that you deserve a doctor and a team of professionals to coach you onto a path of health and wellness, naturally, without the use of pharmaceutical drugs, so that you can enjoy a life-changing health transformation. Call our Wellness Consultants for a complimentary wellness consultation today at 281-698-8698.
1. Prevalence of Hypothyroidism in Infertile Women and Evaluation of Response of Treatment for Hypothyroidism on Infertility
2. The Role of Thyroid Autoimmunity in Fertility and Pregnancy
3. Recurrent Pregnancy Loss in Patients with Thyroid Dysfunction
4. Patients with Subclinical Hypothyroidism before 20 Weeks of Pregnancy have a Higher Risk of Miscarriage: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
5. Prevalence and Impact of Thyroid Disorders on Maternal Outcome in Asian-Indian Pregnant Women
6. Progesterone Implantation in Habitual Abortion
7. Progesterone Supplementation in Women with Otherwise Unexplained Recurrent Miscarriages