Women who have experienced one or more miscarriages often seek out our help. Having worked in this field for over a decade, our records show that the proportion of women who have come to us with a history of miscarriage is 25%, and this is where experience is key.
We genuinely empathise with each couple and we also know that miscarriage is a common problem - the national average is also 25% of pregnancies ending during the first 12 weeks. Striking the balance between a keen understanding of the loss and reassuring each patient that it is 'normal' is a finely tuned skill. Couples who lose a baby later than 12 weeks or who suffer repeat miscarriages generally need a different type of support, although not necessarily 'more'.
One of the issues that women mention is that of feeling responsible for the miscarriage. This article in the New Statesman from February discusses the "myth of miscarriage as women's failure". It seems that our default setting as women is to assume guilt. What many women often do not realise, or acknowledge, is that male factor issues contribute to 50% of miscarriages - the main links being between poor morphology (shape of the sperm) and miscarriage. There are companies (we recommend www.lewisfertilitytesting.com) that assess the level of DNA fragmentation in sperm, which is linked to poor morphology, but western medicine is unsure of how to 'cure' it. At The Natural Fertility Centre we use a combination of nutritional therapy and acupuncture to aim towards improving sperm quantity & quality and, ideally, we start the process three months before IVF or trying to conceive naturally.
Moving away from the idea of 'fault', whether it's seen as the man or woman's, is the healthiest way to proceed. Alterations to lifestyle - e.g. cutting out smoking and cutting down on alcohol and caffeine - are recommended as are looking at levels of minerals and toxins with our nutritionist (in our experience high levels of lead are known to cause miscarriage - see here for our case study - and are often found in plumbers or gardeners, and high levels of mercury are sometimes found in dentists or dental assistants). Although most patients seek out acupuncture, we also often recommend some sessions with our hypnotherapist to enable patients to see each pregnancy as a new start, to teach coping mechanisms and to alleviate anxiety and fears.