October is Infant Loss Awareness Month
Photo by Thomas Bormans on Unsplash
EggFund wants to educate and empower the public to know more about pregnancy loss and walk you through several options for building your family, getting the emotional support you need, and financing options.
Recurrent Pregnancy Loss
Experiencing one miscarriage is sadly common. It occurs in 10% of clinically recognized pregnancies. However, if you experience 2 or more, talk to a Reproductive Endocrinologist about Recurrent Pregnancy Loss (RPL).
Some potential reasons for pregnancy loss are an autoimmune condition, endocrine problems, uterine anomalies, or genetic/chromosomal abnormalities with the embryo. The risk of miscarriage can also increase with the number of previous pregnancy losses.
Testing After Miscarriage
Studies show miscarriages often occur due to some chromosomal or genetic factors. Unfortunately, it's more common than many realize. According to the APA, about 10% to 25% of clinically recognized pregnancies will experience a miscarriage.
Therefore, you may want to discuss genetic testing with your doctor to see if they recommend it. Testing after a miscarriage might include necessary testing, such as blood work and ultrasound.
Your reproductive endocrinologist will best advise you depending on your health history, your initial blood work, ultrasound, reproductive work-up, and family goals.
You may also want to familiarize yourself with other tests and options available, so you can feel empowered when speaking to your doctor about them.
In general, your reproductive endocrinologist will take the results of your tests, put together a suggested protocol that will include several options for you to discuss that will most likely have one form or another of genetic testing after miscarriage.
Two Examples of the Benefits of Genetic Testing
One example is that even if you did not need fertility treatment to achieve your pregnancy, assisted reproductive technology such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) plus a form of genetic testing after miscarriage known as Preimplantation Genetic Testing for Aneuploidy. Since chromosomal abnormalities are often responsible for roughly 70 percent of miscarriages, PGT-A can increase your chances of having a healthy baby and decrease your chances of a miscarriage by selecting chromosomally normal embryos.
Another example is if you or your partner have a genetic condition diagnosis or a family history of a genetic disorder. This includes Tay-Sachs, Sickle Cell Anemia, Huntington's Disease, which puts you at an increased risk of passing onto offspring. A genetic test your doctor might suggest is Pre-implantation Genetic Testing for Monogenic Diseases (PGT-M).
Costs for Fertility Care
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), in vitro fertilization (IVF) can cost on average $12,000 to $17,000 depending on where you live and which clinic you receive treatment. This price range does NOT include medication. Depending on the protocol your reproductive endocrinologist recommends, Fertility medications can range from $3,000 - $5,000. In addition, any genetic testing would be an additional $3,000-$5,000.
That means one cycle of IVF can cost you upwards of $25,000.
There are many organizations to offer guidance, empathy, and support. They include the March of Dimes, Resolve the National Infertility Association and Pregnancy After Loss Support. It's also important not to judge your feelings as "right" or "wrong" and communicate what you need to get through a difficult time.
And when it comes to communication, that includes your doctor and medical team. While few imagine needing medical intervention when building a family, having the technology available like genetic testing after miscarriage may be a comfort if you've gone through several pregnancy losses.
Ultimately, with the help of reproductive technology, science, genetics, and the right course of action, you and your doctor can determine the best way forward to a healthy pregnancy and child… and EggFund can assist you in affording it!