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During the past 20 years, Dr Eric Daiter has successfully helped thousands of couples that have suffered through the grief and emotional trauma of a pregnancy loss. If you have questions about miscarriage or you just want to find a compassionate infertility specialist to guide you, Dr Eric Daiter would be happy to help (in his Edison, NJ office or on the telephone). It is easy, just call us at 908 226 0250 to set up an appointment (leave a message with your name and number if we are unable to get to the phone and someone will call you back).


"I always try to be available for my patients since I do understand the pain and frustration associated with fertility problems or endometriosis."


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Many couples blame themselves (often harshly) for their pregnancy losses. In fact, it is rare that either member of the couple has done anything that would result in a pregnancy loss. Additionally, the actual incidence of pregnancy loss in the United States is much higher than typically thought. The result is that many couples might benefit from knowledge of the recognized causes for pregnancy loss.

There is a major difference in both incidence rates and causes for single spontaneous abortions and recurrent spontaneous abortions. Recurrent abortion is typically defined as three or more consecutive (in a row) pregnancy losses that occur prior to fetal viability (usually 20 weeks gestation or a fetal weight of 500 grams). The reason for this criteria is the reports of a significantly higher chance for further pregnancy loss following the loss of three in a row.

Available Drawing:

The two major clinically important categories of causes for spontaneous abortion (miscarriage) are fetal and maternal.

Fetal causes include the genetic composition of the fetus:

  1. Human live borns have a very low percentage of chromosomal abnormalities (about 0.6% or 1 in 170). This low percentage indicates that almost all chromosomal abnormalities are lethal and aborted early in pregnancy.

  2. The only chromosomal abnormalities (other than those involving the X and Y sex chromosomes) that might result in a human live born are trisomy 21 (three of the 21 chromosome, known as Down's syndrome), trisomy 18 (three of the 18 chromosome, known as Edward's syndrome and all die during infancy) and trisomy 13 (three of the 13 chromosome, known as Patau syndrome and all die during infancy).

Maternal causes include abnormalities in the environment in which the embryo and fetus develops. Known maternal causes related to an action of the mother are uncommon, but can include

  1. heavy cigarette smoking (uncommon for this to result in a loss),

  2. alcohol abuse (uncommon for this to result in a loss)

  3. Irradiation or exposure to chemical toxins.

  4. Medications known to be teratogenic (cause fetal malformation)

Other maternal causes which are not related to any conscious activity of the mother or couple include

  1. Anatomic abnormalities (typically uterine)

  2. Hormonal imbalances (typically in progesterone)

  3. Immunologic system errors (autoimmune and alloimmune)

  4. Serious or life threatening maternal disease

By far the most common causes for spontaneous pregnancy loss are fetal not maternal. It is difficult for a woman with an undesired pregnancy to consciously create an unfavorable environment for the pregnancy to successfully force a miscarriage.

Often couples blame themselves for doing something that must have resulted in the pregnancy loss. Focusing on themselves (often harshly) for doing something wrong is unfortunate since

  1. It adds guilt on top of an existing emotionally charged situation, which is counterproductive and may delay or arrest (emotional) recovery from the event

  2. It is misdirected since very few losses are related to conscious maternal actions, and

  3. it often assumes that such losses are rare events when in fact they are common (but not commonly discussed).

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