Endometriosis and Miscarriage

Endometriosis and Miscarriage

This past Tuesday, October 15th, was National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. It is a day to recognize those who have experienced the heart-wrenching tragedy of pregnancy and infant loss. There is still so much taboo and silence regarding these losses. The American Pregnancy Association states that miscarriage "is the most common type of pregnancy loss, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). Studies reveal that anywhere from 10-25% of all clinically recognized pregnancies will end in miscarriage."  Many endometriosis patients are often at a greater risk for miscarriages, preterm labor and ectopic pregnancies due to the effects of this disease and have experienced great loss.

There are many reasons that a woman with endometriosis can have a miscarriage and luckily, through medical intervention, some of the reasons can be helped.

Egg Quality

At the Endometriosis Foundation of America’s last Medical Conference, there was a lot of talk about infertility and early pregnancy loss in endometriosis patients.  Endometriosis affects everything from the quality of the eggs, to their maturation to embryo implantation.  Doctors have always suspected that endometriosis can affect the uterine lining, often interfering with embryo implantation. But now doctors are realizing endometriosis can even affect the egg quality itself. A recent study found that women who did not have endometriosis, who used donor eggs from women with endometriosis, had a much lower rate of achieving a healthy pregnancy. This study suggests that women with endometriosis have a lower egg quality. One reason for this lower egg quality may be that women with endometriosis have cytokines in their peritoneal fluid, which is caused by inflammation. This fluid is part of the follicular fluid which encases the eggs and can affect them adversely. Doctors at the conference suggested that egg freezing is an option for young patients worried about their future family building. It is also recommended for endometriosis patients, especially those with recurrent pregnancy loss, to use in-vitro fertilization and preimplantation genetic diagnosis to help achieve a healthy pregnancy. These techniques will allow doctors to see the genetic makeup of an embryo to see whether it is genetically sounds. Only transferring healthy embryos will allow patients to have a better chance at avoiding pregnancy loss. Studies have also shown that women with endometriosis have a higher success rate using frozen embryo transfer as opposed to doing a fresh IVF cycle.

Immunological Component

It is the belief of Dr. Seckin, along with other authorities in the field, that endometriosis has been found to have an immunological component that can lead to miscarriages. This immunological component is again due to excessive inflammation caused by endometriosis. The body's own impaired immune system can result in rejection of the early implanted embryo. He believes any patients who have gone on to become pregnant and miscarry after surgical intervention should arrange for a reproductive immunological profile. An expert reproductive immunologist can help correct or strengthen a women’s immune system leading to a better chance for a healthy pregnancy.

Anatomical Reasons

Unfortunately, endometriosis can leave a destructive path in a patient’s pelvis. Scar tissue and adhesions can form on the fallopian tubes which can lead to an ectopic pregnancy. This loss is not only devastating, but dangerous because it is very important to terminate the pregnancy before the tube ruptures. Also some women with endometriosis often have a uterine defects such as an abnormally shaped uterus (heart-shaped, or with a septum [wall] dividing it). This abnormality may interfere with maintaining a pregnancy. Dr. Seckin asks many of his new patients who have had children if they have had atypical births. Many have experienced pre-term delivery and emergency C-section. 

After complete excision of endometriosis in the pelvis, all inflammation sources are eliminated. Dr. Seckin has seen a great number of his patients go on to have healthy pregnancies. He takes great care in carefully removing endometriosis on the uterus and the ovaries to help patients with their family building. He often can surgically correct uterine defects and also free up the fallopian tubes to help patients get pregnant. For those still have issues, he works with some of the best reproductive endocrinologists and immunologists to help patients have the best chance at achieving a healthy pregnancy. 

Endometriosis is a disease that forces patients to live with chronic pain. It is cruel that is also can lead to the devastating experience of pregnancy loss. Please know that you are not alone.

Casey Berna is a patient of Dr. Seckin’s and an endometriosis and infertility counselor and advocate. To learn more about her story and her practice go to www.CaseyBerna.com.  If you are a patient of Dr. Seckin’s and want to share your story please contact Casey at casey@drseckin.com.

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Patient Reviews

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  • Angela Aro

    I have struggled with endometriosis and adenomyosis since first starting my period at 13. I was diagnosed at 21 and what followed was a series of unsuccessful surgeries and treatments. My case was very aggressive and involved my urinary tract system and my intestines. After exhausting all of my local doctors I was lucky enough to find Dr. Seckin. We…

  • Emi O

    Seckin and Dr. Goldstein changed my life!

  • Kristin Sands

    Like so many women who have tirelessly sought a correct diagnosis and proper, thorough medical treatment for endometriosis, I found myself 26 years into this unwanted journey without clear answers or help from four previous gynecological doctors and two emergency laparoscopic surgeries. I desperately wanted to avoid the ER again; a CT scan for appendicitis also revealed a likely endometrioma…

  • Wilfredo Reyes

    Dr. Seckin literally gave my wife her life back. I am eternally grateful to him for his generous, determined spirit to see that Melanie finally live free from the prison bonds of Endometriosis.

  • Carla

    I am so grateful to Dr Seckin and Dr. Goldstein. My experience was nothing short of amazing. I was misdiagnosed with the location of my fibroids and have had a history of endometriosis. Dr. Seckin was the one who accurately diagnosed me. Dr Seckin and Dr. Goldstein really care about their patients and it shows. They listened to my concerns,…

  • Melissa Boudreau

    When I think of Dr. Seckin these are the words that come to mind. Gratitude, grateful, life-changing, a heart of gold. I feel compelled to give you a bit of background so you can understand the significance of this surgery for me. I am passionate about Endometriosis because it has affected me most of my life and I have a…

  • Jaclyn Harte

    Dr. Seckin and Dr. Goldstein radically changed my quality of life. They treat their patients with dignity & respect that I've personally never seen in the literally 25+ doctors I've seen for endometriosis. This summer, I had a surgery with Dr. Seckin & Goldstein. It was my first with them, but my 5th endo surgery. I couldn't believe the difference,…

  • Megan Rafael Moreno

    I was in pain for 2 years. I was getting no answers, and because dr Goldstein and dr seckins were willing to see and treat me I'm finally feeling almost back to normal. They were very down to earth and helpful in my time of need. Dr Goldstein was easy to talk to and caring, she took care of me…

  • Nancy Costa

    Dr. Seckin is one of the best endometriosis surgeon. Every time I go to the office, he really listens to me and is always concerned about my issues. Dr Seckin's office staff are a delight and they always work with me. I feel I can leave everything to them and they will take care of it. Thank you to the…

  • Rebecca Black

    Fast forward 5 years to find out incidentally I had a failing kidney. My left kidney was only functioning at 18%. During this time, I was preparing all my documents to send to Dr. Seckin to review. However, with this new information I put everything on hold and went to a urologist. After a few months, no one could figure…

  • Monique Roberts

    I'll never stop praising Dr. Seckin and his team. He literally gave me back my life.

  • Erin Brehm

    I had a wonderful experience working with Dr. Seckin and his team before, during and after my surgery. I came to Dr. Seckin having already had laparoscopic surgery for endometriosis 5 years prior, with a different surgeon. My symptoms and pain had returned, making my life truly challenging and my menstrual cycle unbearable. Dr. Seckin was quick to validate my…

  • Anita Schillhorn

    I came to Dr. Seckin after years of dealing with endometriosis and doctors who didn't fully understand the disease. He quickly ascertained what needed to be done, laid out the options along with his recommendation and gave me the time to make the right decision for me. My surgery went without a hitch and I'm healing very well. He and…

  • Nicholette Sadé

    Dr. Seckin brought me back to life! I am now 3 weeks into my recovery after my laparoscopy surgery, and I feel like a new and improved woman! Being diagnosed with Endometriosis, then 25yrs old in 2015, and discovering the severity of my case being stage 4, made me devastated. Dr. Seckin's vast knowledge of the disease, sincere empathy, and…