What is recurrent miscarriage?
Miscarriage is defined as the spontaneous abortion without medical or mechanical means to terminate a pregnancy before the fetus is sufficiently developed to survive. It happens in about 10%–15% of all pregnancies, and it is the most common complication during pregnancy. One can help to reduce miscarriage rate naturally with the use of alternative medicine such as Traditional Chinese Medicine(TCM).
About 5 percent of all couples experience three or more consecutive miscarriages, which is the official definition of recurrent miscarriage. Recurrent pregnancy loss is estimated to happen in 1%–3% of all pregnancies. As a woman ages, risk of miscarriage incrementally increases to a 25% chance in 40–42 years of age and 50% or more in women ages 43–46.
How TCM prevents miscarriage?
In TCM, miscarriage is defined as “fetal irritability” or “fetal restlessness,” while recurrent miscarriage is called “stirring fetus”. The definition and symptoms of miscarriage in TCM is similar to that of Western Medicine. The presentations of miscarriage are similar, mainly with abdominal pains and vaginal bleeding. But unlike mainstream Western Medicine, TCM has its unique medical theory to comprehend miscarriage.
“Qi” and “Blood” are the two basic elements involved in diagnosing and treating miscarriage. The major causes of threatened miscarriage include
- Kidney Deficiency
- Qi Deficiency
- Blood Deficiency
- Blood Heat
- External Injury
Above are the differential syndromes associated with TCM and each presents with different symptoms. Only a skilled and certified physician can help to diagnose and treat. Self-diagnosis and treatment is strictly prohibited.
Chinese Medicine is also actively used as a treatment for missed, incomplete, and complete miscarriages, which helps to improve the blood circulation so as to stimulate uterine contractions and empty the uterus.
A common concern from my patients is that by preventing miscarriage, they fear intervening with nature and thus increasing the chance of delivering an abnormal baby. This is absolutely NOT TRUE because if your miscarriage is due to a genetic factor, unfortunately the treatments I am going to recommend is not going to prevent miscarriage. However, if the miscarriage is due to other reasons such as hormonal imbalance, blood-clotting problem, then treating this problem not only reduce the risk of miscarriage, it also improves your child’s health.
Safety of TCM in Pregnancy
Since ancient China, pregnant women receive TCM herbal treatments for complaints such as early pregnancy symptoms and backache. As far as we can judge without relevant statistics, there appear to be few problems.
The typical patient in the West, however, will not be prepared to accept even the smallest risk to treat a condition like a cold during pregnancy. Assuming that problems arose after the use of TCM herbs, the TCM physician could very easily be held responsible. In mild illness or when you are unsure, it is therefore better to do without any treatment.
On the other hand, though, if the condition is so critical that the only alternative are biomedical medications that might have incalculable risks for the fetus or if the pregnancy itself is endangered by the illness, for example in threatened miscarriage, then TCM is often the safer method, with fewer side-effects for mother and fetus. It is nevertheless wise to limit both the dosage and the length of usage to what is absolutely necessary.