While there are a range of possible causes for early miscarriage and chemical pregnancy, the most common cause is chromosomal abnormalities.
These abnormalities most often involve an extra copy of a chromosome (known as trisomy) or a missing chromosome. These types of genetic errors are the single most important cause of chemical pregnancies, early miscarriages, and failed IVF cycles, as well as the reason it takes women over 40 so much longer to conceive.
What Causes Chromosomal Abnormalities ?
Most often, the error comes from the egg, rather than the sperm. Even in young, healthy women, a significant proportion of eggs will have an incorrect number of chromosomes, but these errors become much more frequent as women age. This is why miscarriages are more common in women over 40. But that does not mean the situation is out of our hands.
Supplements such as DHEA and CoQ10 (ubiquinol), may help to reduce the chance of chromosomal abnormalities, if taken for several months before trying to conceive. Why is this window of time so critical? The chromosomal errors in eggs are not gradually accumulating throughout life, but rather they occur in the three to four months before ovulation.
During this time, an egg must undergo a major transformation. It grows dramatically in size and starts producing much more energy. The egg must then execute a precise process of separating and ejecting copies of chromosomes. If this process goes wrong, and it often does, the egg will have the incorrect number of chromosomes. Such an egg may fail to fertilize, may stop developing in the early embryo stage, or may result in a miscarriage.
Although chromosomal abnormalities in eggs become more common as women age, that is because eggs in older women become less effective at producing the energy needed to process chromosomes correctly during the final stages of egg development. By supporting energy production during this brief window of time, and avoiding the toxins that make matters worse, we can reduce the odds of chromosomal abnormalities and therefore reduce the odds of chemical pregnancies and early miscarriage.
How to Prevent Miscarriage and Chemical Pregnancy
As discussed in detail in the book, the latest scientific studies show that there are many ways we can give an egg the best possible chance of developing with the correct number of chromosomes. These strategies include avoiding toxins such as BPA, supplementing with nutrients that support energy production in the egg, and making a some key dietary changes that reduce inflammation and improve egg quality.
It Starts with the Egg provides detailed supplement plans tailored to a range of fertility situations, including an advanced plan for recurrent miscarriage. This plan includes CoQ10 (ubiquinol), N-acetyl cysteine, alpha-lipoic acid, vitamin E, DHEA, and in some cases melatonin or myo-inositol. As the book explains, not every supplement is right for every situation. You should discuss supplements with your doctor, and read the chapter dedicated to each supplement to help you decide if if it may be right for you (melatonin, for example, is typically only recommended for those trying to conceive through IVF, because it may disrupt natural ovulation).
What About Other Causes of Miscarriage?
Although chromosomal abnormalities are the most common cause of miscarriage, they are not the only cause. There are several other contributing factors that we also have the power to influence through diet, lifestyle, and supplements – including inflammation/immune activity and thyroid disorders. For more information on tackling these issues, see Chapters 4 and 13 of It Starts with the Egg.
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