Welcome to the P.A.L. Club!

P.A.L. = Pregnancy After Loss, and we’re here for it!

Does this sound like you?

You’re sad, frustrated, and anxious all at the same time?

So often, couples are told pregnancy loss is normal. It’s not “normal” — it’s just common. We’re going to get super technical on some of the causes of pregnancy loss and then dive into what we can do specifically about “idiopathic pregnancy loss” which basically means they don’t know why it happened! You might feel like you’ve had every test, and still have no answers. I’m sorry.

I know it’s frustrating. But, without the shame/blame/guilt, we’re here to tell you there is something you can do about it so that the next time you conceive, you can look forward to holding that baby in your arms.

Based on the Smart Fertility Assessment, you have suffered pregnancy loss. There are different stages of pregnancy loss that point to different causes.

What are some of the causes of pregnancy loss?

Genetic factors (like chromosomal abnormalities) are 2-5%. Although no one wants to experience a loss, this is the only case in which the body knows best! This is not a “problem” because the body’s choice to end a pregnancy due to genetic factors can be extremely normal — and is part of the “survival of the fittest” that is innate to human physiology. Knowing the genetics for both partners helps to mitigate the risks and helps to know if there are any hereditary influences that are out of the couple’s control. In the presence of genetic factors, consultation with a genetic counselor is essential.

Anatomical factors are present for 10-15% of the population of couples suffering recurrent loss. The shape of the uterus, or presence of fibroids, or even severe forms of adenomyosis, can impact pregnancy outcomes. Some of these factors are addressable and treatable through conventional means, others through natural means, and a small number rarer not treatable at all. If you fall into this category, it’s important to talk to multiple different types of practitioners to figure out the best option for you.

The next biggest factors are endocrine or hormone-related, and make up 17-20% of the recurrent loss cases. These include everything from polycystic ovarian syndrome (which often results in pregnancy loss) to endometriosis (which also similarly has been connected to pregnancy loss). The good news with this is hormones are changeable which means they can also be optimized for healthy pregnancy outcomes. Most couples in this bracket of loss usually do very well with a functional approach to fertility and pregnancy optimization. Matter of fact, we’ve found that a functional approach is not only helpful, it’s essential to healthy pregnancy outcomes.

Thrombophilias and immune issues can make up about 20% of the population of couples that suffer recurrent loss. These are things like antiphospholipid syndrome and blood clotting issues. Appropriate analysis of labs can help address these early, and prevent future losses. Most of these are addressable through functional approaches, and conventional treatments are also available for some of the factors. So, in this case it’s helpful to consult a variety of practitioners with different approaches to figure out the best approach for you.

The biggest factor of all is considered “unexplained” - in fact 40-50% of pregnancy loss is unexplained. This is actually the biggest place that functional and holistic approaches shine. In the case of unexplained pregnancy loss, it is important to identify one (or in my experience, multiple factors) that are playing a role in the possibility of loss. In fact, most of the time, women assume that they are the “problem” but it should be noted that male partners actually have a lot to do with pregnancy outcomes.

On the male side, there are three big factors that contribute to pregnancy loss in your partner. Those are methylation issues, inflammation, and blood sugar abnormalities. These are harder to detect because all too often, there are no symptoms. And yet, in so many of our couples, we identify these factors, and when appropriately addressed, they go on to have a healthy baby. In men, the most crucial tests are Homocysteine, C-Reactive Protein, Hemoglobin A1c, and Insulin. We need these to be optimal, not just “normal.” If the levels are suboptimal, that is enough of a factor to contribute to poor pregnancy outcomes. Outside of these biomarkers, it may be worthwhile to look into oxidative stress and DNA fragmentation which can play a role in implantation failure and pregnancy loss.

On the woman’s side, chronic inflammation, methylation, and blood sugar dysregulation also play a role, but deciding on the right tests requires a little more finesse. Signs and symptoms in women that indicate underlying factors that may be involved in pregnancy outcome include:

  • hormonal imbalances

  • short luteal phase or low progesterone levels

  • spotting before menses

  • chronic immune struggles (allergies, chronic congestion, post nasal drip, frequent colds/flus or never getting sick)

  • joint pains or other chronic inflammation

  • digestive symptoms such as gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, pain, or ANY other symptom related to the gut!

Unfortunately these symptoms are just the tip of the iceberg! if you were given the diagnosis of “unexplained pregnancy loss” please know there is actually a LOT that you can get support with. And, 99% of our 1:1 clients have gone on to have healthy babies after this diagnosis with the right support. Although this diagnosis might feel overwhelming and hopeless, it’s actually a great place to start getting answers!

In the meantime, for anyone experiencing less than 2 losses, wanting to try something while working with a practitioner to figure out the root cause, the plan below is a great starting point. These products are designed to get at the root of many of the underlying challenges we discussed here. They are a great starting point and have helped many couples just like you to get and STAY pregnant.

How does this affect fertility?

First, sorry for your loss(es). And second, most important thing is: IT’S NOT YOUR FAULT. With that said, we need to understand what could be underlying pregnancy loss so that you can have the baby and family you dream of. So there are actually a lot of things to consider here.

Understanding why pregnancy loss occurs really helps to address any underlying reasons that can be optimized for future pregnancy to have a positive outcome. In fact, so often women are made to feel like they did something wrong or there wasn’t anything they could do. Research says otherwise, but the other part of the issue is that most doctors don’t agree to testing till a woman has three consecutive losses. This is problematic from the view of the woman’s body! The amount of emotional and hormonal turmoil with each pregnancy is traumatic on many levels. So, instead, understanding what could be happening and what could be done differently helps to set the body up for future positive outcomes.

Recurrent pregnancy loss can correlate to numerous factors. Factors such as thrombophilias like anti-phospholipid syndrome (APS), anatomical anomalies, and genetic disorders make up about 40% of cases of RPL. Of the “other” 60%, about half are considered to be “unknown” or “idiopathic”…

If you have a known cause of pregnancy loss, definitely talk to your doctor. However, if you fall into the “unknown” “idiopathic” or “unexplained categories, there are a few things that can help reveal the root causes and help you to have a positive pregnancy outcome.

Many times, women are told pregnancy loss was due to egg quality or low progesterone. In both cases, supporting egg quality is crucial. BUT in this case it is also equally important to support sperm quality! That is why our recurrent loss support suggests Super Egg & Super Sperm. Couples should take these consistently for 90 days before starting to try again.

This little info page is just the beginning... get your own personalized fertility plan, created specifically for your needs!

Doing your own research can be time consuming, overwhelming and can feel like an endless rabbit hole.

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About Dr. Aumatma

Madre Fertility Co-Founder

With an emphasis on hormonal harmony, increased mental and emotional well-being, and overall physical health improvement, Dr. Aumatma Simmons has helped thousands of couples achieve fertility success.

15-year, double-board certified Naturopathic Doctor and Endocrinologist

Best-selling author, host of the Egg Meets Sperm postcast

2015 & 2020 "Best Naturopathic Medicine Doctor" locally

2021 & 2021 top "Women in Medicine" doctor

Featured on ABC, FOX, CBS, KTLA, MindBodyGreen, The Bump and more.