Miscarriages are fairly common, and on average, one out of five pregnancies ends in a miscarriage. A miscarriage is the spontaneous abortion of an embryo or fetus before it's developed enough to survive. This can happen even before a woman is aware that she is pregnant.
Certain factors, such as age, smoking, drinking, and a history of miscarriage put a woman at a higher risk for losing a pregnancy, but most miscarriages occur because there is a problem with the fetus, usually a random chromosome abnormality that occurs during fertilization.
If you've had several miscarriages, you may want to be tested to see if any anatomic, genetic, or hormonal abnormalities are contributing to the miscarriages.
Although miscarriages usually can't be prevented, the following precautions can increase your chances of having a healthy pregnancy:
- Maintaining a balanced, healthy diet
- Increasing folic acid and calcium intake
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Exercising moderately - to be approved by your doctor
- Limiting caffeine
- Stopping smoking
- Avoiding over-the-counter medicines
Progesterone cream and miscarriages
Studies show that Progesterone cream has been known to assist in the prevention of miscarriages in the first trimester. This is used once a day in the mornings and continued right up until the 3rd month of pregnancy, although advice should be obtained from a homeopath as the usage and dosage varies from person to person.
There has also been a lot of research into the use of progesterone cream for increased fertility. This research focuses on the luteal phase defect, whereby using progesterone cream from ovulation to menstruation, enhances the natural progesterone the body produces and can significantly increase the likelihood of pregnancy.
Modern science confirms that progesterone is the most essential hormone necessary to the survival of the fertilized egg and the foetus throughout gestation. Progesterone regulates the entire endocrine system, and low levels of progesterone can make the entire body can seem out of balance. Progesterone causes the basal body temperature to rise and helps the uterus lining to thicken, in order for a fertilized egg to implant. Use of progesterone cream, especially during the first trimester, helps to prevent miscarriage, preterm labour and premature birth. Progesterone is also used to help prevent pre and post natal depression. Common symptoms of progesterone deficiency include PMS, thyroid dysfunction, low libido, infertility, pregnancy and premature menopausal symptoms.
It is important to note that you should use an all-natural progesterone cream, as it will cause fewer side effects and therefore safely increase your chance of pregnancy.
Endometriosis is affects women of reproductive age and is caused when the endometrium or lining of the uterus grows outside the uterus. This tissue then implants itself and grows anywhere within the abdominal cavity.
Endometriosis is often found in women of late childbearing years and some people believe that endometriosis is the most frequent cause of infertility.
Endometriosis can cause infertility by causing tubal disease and it can affect the ovaries and probably egg quality, as well as increase the risk of miscarriages. Endometriosis causes infertility as the endometriosis often leads to a mild inflammation within the pelvis. In some of these cases, the levels of chemicals released in response to the inflammation are increased and these hormones often have a negative effect on follicle and egg development, fertilization, normal tubal function, and implantation.
Endometriosis can also inflame surrounding tissue and spur the growth of scar tissue. This scar tissue may bind the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and intestines together and therefore interfere in the release of eggs from the ovaries.
Endometriosis cannot be diagnosed from symptoms alone - it can only be confirmed by a laparoscopy.
Low ovarian reserve, high FSH levels and premature menopause
Women are born with a finite number of eggs in their ovaries. The remaining number of eggs in the ovaries is called the "ovarian reserve". As a woman ages, her ovarian reserve gets depleted and her ovarian response starts declining.
The most usual test used to test the ovarian reserve is to test the level of FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) in the blood - usually on day 3 of the menstrual cycle. FSH causes the ovaries to produce estrogen. When the ovaries slow down their production of estrogen, FSH levels increase. A high level suggests poor ovarian reserve and a very high level is diagnostic of ovarian failure. During each monthly cycle eggs develop within the ovarian follicles under the influence of the hormone FSH and too much FSH, indicates that the body is over-producing it in order to try to get the ovaries to function.
The test used to diagnose premature menopause is this same FSH test. When FSH levels rise above 30 or 40 mIU/mL, it usually indicates that you are in menopause, which is also often referred to as premature ovarian failure. (I was diagnosed with this, and I still managed to fall pregnant with a healthy baby, only three months later! DO NOT BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU ARE TOLD!)
A high FSH level does not mean that you cannot get pregnant - it just means that your chances are dropping because your egg quality is poor. (My initial FSH levels were 35.5 and after a month of herbs, supplements - wheat germ, DHEA, Chinese herbs and Agnus Castus, acupuncture and following the right diet, they dropped to a 9 and then to a 4 the following month!)
An ovarian cyst is a fluid-filled sac in the ovary. They vary in size and contain liquid that is thin and watery, or thicker and denser. Ovarian cysts are often found in woman during their childbearing years. Most often, ovarian cysts may not show any symptoms and if there are symptoms, often they will mimic other conditions such as an ectopic pregnancy, endometriosis or pelvic inflammation. Symptoms can also be masked by conditions such as appendicitis.
Because ovarian cysts can so often be misdiagnosed, it is advisable to recognize some of their symptoms.
These symptoms are often: irregular menstruation, with pelvic pain in the lower back before and after the menstruation, pelvic pain during intercourse, nausea, similar to morning sickness experienced during pregnancy.
Mostly, ovarian cysts are discovered by a doctor during a pelvic examination or annual check-up. This will usually feel like a swelling on the ovary and the severity of the cyst can be identified by performing a few more tests, such as an ultrasound, which will determine if the cyst is filled with fluid or is solid and exactly where it is situated. Other tests used to assess cysts are hormone level tests, to determine if the cyst is hormonal based and a pregnancy test to rule out the possibility of the cyst being related to a pregnancy. Blood tests can also measure antigen levels, indicating if the cyst may be cancerous or not.
The first approach to treating ovarian cysts is to wait a few months to see if the cyst disappears on its own. Most disappear after a few weeks without treatment.
If the cyst is functional, birth control pills can help to help make it smaller and decrease the chance of new ones forming.
Often laparoscopic surgery can remove a cyst if it has solid material in it, if it lasts longer than three menstrual cycles, or grows larger than 5cm. If the cyst is not cancerous, just the cyst can be removed using keyhole surgery, allowing the doctor to save the normal ovarian tissue and therefore preserving normal ovarian function.